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Author: Atli Mr lafsson

Instructor: Faiza Saeed
The marketing mix at Pokerstars
How they are getting to their eisting and !otential custo"ers
Aarhus School of Business
Executive summary
&he ai" of this thesis was to "a! the "ar'eting acti(ities in the online !o'er
industry) &his industry is relati(ely new *ut has grown with un*elie(a*le s!eed the
last cou!le of years) +o'erstars is the *iggest co"!any in this industry and has *een
for few years now) &he "ain !art of this !a!er therefore went into analyzing their
"ar'eting "i, which was then followed with S-.& analysis and a "ar'et research)
&his was done in order to answer the /uestions a*out how the "ar'eting "i at
+o'erstars loo's li'es and how their "ar'eting strategy is influencing their eisting
and !otential custo"ers)
It was found out that the "ost i"!ortant !art of the ser(ice "ar'eting "i0s 1
+s for +o'erstars were +roduct, +ro"otion and +eo!le) &he software !layers use to
!lay is one of the 'ey factors for !layers when choosing a site) How the site is
!ro"oted is also etre"ely i"!ortant, since the co"!etition is increasing, the !o'er
sites has to let !otential !layers 'now what they ha(e to offer and tell eisting !layers
why they should not try other sites) &his is often done with (arious sales !ro"otions)
&he custo"er su!!ort is also (ery i"!ortant, as it is the only contact the !layer has to
the !eo!le wor'ing for +o'erstars)
&he results for +o'erstars can *e considered (ery satisfying) All !layers 'now
who they are and they ha(e "ore !layers than all the other sites co"*ined) &heir
software and custo"er su!!ort is (ery good and they are getting closer to Fulltilt!o'er
when it co"es to !layers awareness a*out s!onsored !layers at these sites) &hey are
getting new !layers e(en though they do not offer as *ig *onuses as their co"!etitors,
which really shows their strength)
Table of Contents

3ecuti(e su""ary))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))2
$) Introduction)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))4
2) &heoretical fra"ewor')))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))5
2)2 &he "ar'eting "i)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))5
2)2)2 6riticis" of the "ar'eting "i conce!t))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))1
2)# S-.& analysis))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))1
#) &he ga"e of !o'er)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))%
#)2 &he history of !o'er)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))%
#)# +o'er as it is today)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))2$
#)4 .nline !o'er))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))22
#)7 &eas Holde"))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))2#
4) A*out +o'erstars))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))2#
7) An analysis of the "ar'eting "i at +o'erstars))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))27
7)2 +roduct)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))27
7)2)2 &he fi(e !roduct le(el "odel)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))25
7)2)# &he !roduct (industry) life cycle)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))28
7)# +rice))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))29
7)#)2 :a'e and tourna"ent fee))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))29
7)#)# :a'e*ac'))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))2%
7)4 +lace)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))#$
7)7 +ro"otion ; the !ro"otion "i)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))##
7)7)2 Ad(ertising))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))##
7)7)# S!onsorshi!)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))#7
7)7)4 Sales !ro"otion)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))#5
7)5 +eo!le)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))#1
7)8 +rocess))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))#9
7)1 +hysical e(idence)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))4$
5) A S-.& analysis for +o'erstars))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))42
5)2 Strengths)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))42
5)# -ea'nesses))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))4#
5)4 .!!ortunities))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))44
5)7 &hreats)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))45
8) &he /uestionnaire)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))48
8)2 Methodology))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))48
8)# &he results fro" the /uestionnaire))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))49
1) 6onclusion)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))7#
9) Bi*liogra!hy))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))77
%) A!!endi 2)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))5$
2$) A!!endi #)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))58
0. Introduction
+o'er is an industry that has grown with un*elie(a*le s!eed in the last cou!le
of years) &his giant increase in !o'er has often *een called the Money"a'er effect
after 6hris Money"a'er, who went fro" !laying a <4% satellite on +o'erstars to
winning the -orld Series of +o'er Main 3(ent that ga(e hi" <#,5 "illion in !rize
"oney) His win !ro(ed that a"ateurs could win in a *ig field of !rofessional !layers
which really increased !o'ers !o!ularity (www)!o'erstars)co" 2))
-hen it co"es to online !o'er, +o'erstars is !ro*a*ly the "ost well 'now
!o'er site in the world) .n their ho"e!age, they e(en clai" that they are the *iggest
one in the world (www)!o'erstars)net 2)) Measuring if that is true is (ery hard to do,
!erha!s e(en i"!ossi*le) But at least they hold the world record in "ost !layers
!laying si"ultaneously online) &hey also ha(e a nu"*er of other records, for ea"!le
the *iggest online tourna"ent e(er held (www)!o'erstars)co" #)) &he co"!etition is
howe(er getting harder and harder so !o'ersites ha(e to constantly *e re"inding
!layers that they eist and ha(e "any eciting offers for the" if they choose to !lay
&he "ar'eting "i conce!t has *een 'nown since the "iddle of last century
and is thought of as one of the "ost i"!ortant conce!ts in "ar'eting there is) It is
i"!ortant for e(ery co"!any to ha(e a good control o(er their "ar'eting "i, in
order to get to their custo"ers *y directing their "ar'eting strategy towards where
they are)
&his !a!er0s "ain focus is the "ar'eting "i at +o'erstars) As they are the
*iggest co"!any in the online !o'er industry, their "ar'eting "i can *e said to *e
wor'ing well) Howe(er there is always roo" for i"!ro(e"ents) After the "ar'eting
"i at +o'erstars has *een analyzed, a S-.& analysis for +o'erstars will *e
conducted) Finally a research is carried out in order to see what !o'er !layers,
es!ecially a"ateurs, are loo'ing at when choosing a !o'er site to !lay on and if
+o'erstars are doing well in "ar'eting the"sel(es)
&he research /uestion that will *e answered in this !a!er is =-hat does the
"ar'eting "i at +o'erstars loo' li'e and how is their "ar'eting strategy influencing
their eistent and !otential custo"ers>?
&his !a!er will start *y an introduction of the ga"e of !o'er which will then
lead to an introduction of the co"!any +o'erstars) After that the focus will *e on the
"ar'eting "i) After a loo' into the theory of "ar'eting "i and so"e criticis" of
the theory, a thorough analysis of the "ar'eting "i at +o'erstars will *e "ade)
&hereafter a s"all introduction of the S-.& analysis is done which will follow a
S-.& analysis for +o'erstars) &his !a!er will end with the /uestionnaire that was
done, an e!lanation a*out what was done and the results fro" it)
1. Theoretical framework
A re!orting study was done in order to get as "uch data as !ossi*le for the
"ar'eting "i analysis and the S-.& analysis) :e!orting study is often done in
order to get a su""ation of so"e data) For this !a!er there was !lenty of data that
was found which could hel! with the analyses) &he *iggest !ro*le" was to deter"ine
what data was "ost rele(ant for this !a!er and what data could *e trusted) -hen a
search was done for so"e e"!irical research !a!ers a*out the online !o'er industry,
there were (ery few found that could *e called rele(ant) Most of the research found
was connected to ga"*ling, and it is the *elief of the author, as that of "ost !o'er
!layers, that !o'er is a ga"e of s'ill and should not *e !ut in the sa"e category as
ga"*ling) .ne research that was found was done in order to find out the difference
*etween !o'er !layers and non@!o'er !layers when it co"es to ga"*ling *eha(ior)
&hat will *e *riefly tal'ed a*out later in the !a!er)
3(en though the research conducted in this !a!er was "ostly a re!orting
study, a /uestionnaire was carried out in order to connect the "ar'et analysis to the
!layers that are using the site, and see if the "ar'eting strategy at +o'erstars is getting
to the !layers) So"e /uestions were directly !ointed at +o'erstars while others were
!ointed to the !layers, what they are loo'ing for when choosing a site to !lay on and
how i"!ortant different !ossi*ilities are to the")
1.1 The marketing mix
&he conce!t marketing mix was first used *y Aeil H) Borden in the late 7$0s,
as he started to use it in his teaching and writing) In the article =&he 6once!t of the
Mar'eting Mi?, !u*lished in the Bournal of Ad(ertising :esearch 7 in Bune 2%87, he
descri*es this conce!t and its e(olution) &he !hrase "ar'eting "i first ca"e to his
"ind when an associate !rofessor of his descri*ed a "ar'eting eecuti(e as a "ier of
ingredients) He thought that if the "ar'eting eecuti(e was a "ier of ingredients,
what he was "a'ing could *e called a "ar'eting "i)
&here are different "ar'et forces that affect each !roduct, so one (ariety of a
"ar'eting "i would not *e enough) So in order to get different "ies, the "ar'eting
"anagers needs to "a'e a list of the forces affecting their !roduct) &he list should
contain i"!ortant ele"ents that "a'e u! different "ar'eting !rogra"s and the forces
that the "ar'eting "anager has to adCust his search to in order to find the !erfect "i)
&he length of this list would *e =de!ending on how far one wishes to go in his
classification and su*classification of the "ar'eting !rocedure and !olicies with
which "ar'eting "anage"ent deal when de(ising "ar'eting !rogra"s? (Borden,
2%97:%)) &here are four generic functions that e(ery "ar'eting "i has to fulfill) &hey
are !roduct, !rice, distri*ution and co""unication (-aterschoot 2%%5:745@741)) &he
"i of these ele"ents can then *e co"*ined into each "ar'eting !rogra" that a fir"
or other organizations use =to achie(e a certain le(el and ty!e of res!onse fro" its
target "ar'et? (-aterschoot D Bulte, 2%%#:99)) So e(en though the "ar'eter cannot
decide the de"and or say with any certainty what it will *e, he can influence it to a
greater or lesser etent)
Se(eral "ar'eting "i classifications ha(e *een de(elo!ed since the conce!t
was first used) Borden was one of those who used a chec'list a!!roach) .thers used
classifications that were easier to ada!t and re"e"*er) &he one that has sur(i(ed and
has *eco"e the recei(ed (iew of the "ar'eting@"i conce!t is Mc6arthy0s Four +
classification) =&he Four +s ha(e e(en *eco"e synony"ous with the "ar'eting "i?
(-aterschoot 2%%5:771)) &hese four +s stand for !roduct, !rice, !lace and !ro"otion)
&hey roughly corres!ond to the four generic "ar'eting "i functions, though the
!ro"otion !art has recei(ed so"e criticis" for not co(ering co"!letely the fourth
function (-aterschoot 2%%5:749))
As a conse/uence of how enor"ously !o!ular the Four +s classification has
*een, "any "ar'eting authors ha(e tried =to etend the "ne"onic Four + list as a
"eans of drawing the attention to s!ecific su*@"ies or e(en to "ar'eting as!ects
outside the "ar'eting "i? (-aterschoot, #$$$:2%7)) &he first + that is "ost often
added stands for !eo!le) It indicates how i"!ortant !eo!le that wor' in selling and
ser(ice is to an organization) &his fits es!ecially well in ser(ice "ar'eting
(-aterschoot, #$$$:2%7)) &his + and two others, !hysical e(idence and !rocess, are
often attached to the original Four +s when the "ar'eting !ractice is ta'ing !lace in
the ser(ice industry (Mudie and +irrie, #$$8:5))
1.1.1 Criticism of the marketing mix concet
&he "ar'eting "i conce!t has *een accused of *eing only a!!lica*le to
"icro issues, as it ta'es the !osture of only one echange !arty, instead of for
ea"!le the society as a whole) &his criticis" can howe(er not *e Custified as the
conce!t =a!!lies to any echange situation? (-aterschoot 2%%5:775)) Another
criticis" is that after researches on interactions and inter@de!endencies *etween the
"i (aria*les, they cannot deri(e hy!otheses fro" the "eta!hor) &his criticis" can
howe(er also *e o*Cected as the "ar'eting "i theory is only a set of tools and cannot
*e su!!osed to encircle a theory a*out interactions *etween the" (-aterschoot
-hen it co"es to the ser(ice addition to the original Four +s, so"e say that
the + for !eo!le is not needed, as they !ro(ide the ser(ice that is at the sa"e ti"e the
!roduct of the co"!any (-aterschoot, #$$$:2%7)) For "any ser(ice co"!anies, this
criticis" "ight *e reasona*leE howe(er for a !o'ersite the + for !eo!le is etre"ely
i"!ortant) &he !roduct is the software, *ut the !eo!le wor'ing in custo"er su!!ort
and the !ros that wor' on !ro"oting the site should definitely *e under the fifth +,
&he !ro"otion !art of the Four +s has *een criticized for not corres!onding
enough to the generic function which it is su!!osed to, the co""unication !art)
+ro"otion has *eco"e a host for *oth co""unication and !ro"otion instru"ents
(-aterschoot, #$$$:2%7)) +ro"otion has *een di(ided into a few classes in order to
get a "ore o(erall gri! of *oth of these grou!s) Because of these su*classes, the
!ro"otion !art has *eco"e the host to all the =instru"ents that do not find a !lace in
any other category? (-aterschoot 2%%5:74%), which ha(e "ade it less focused on
!ro"otion in the strict "eaning of the word (-aterschoot 2%%5:749@74%))
1.! "#$T analysis
&he S-.& analysis is a good tool in analyzing the eternal and internal
"ar'eting en(iron"ent) In the eternal analysis, the o!!ortunities and the threats that
are to *e found in the "ar'et are e!lored, and in the internal analysis the strengths
and wea'nesses of the co"!any are disco(ered) In order to find what !athway a
co"!any should ta'e in the future, it is i"!ortant to co"*ine these two analyses) &he
S-.& analysis is a good tool for that !ur!ose (oford tet*oo' ! 777))
&he "aCor !ur!ose of analyzing the "ar'eting en(iron"ent of a co"!any is to
find the o!!ortunities that lie in the "ar'et and which the co"!any has not used yet)
&hrough these o!!ortunities the co"!any can *eco"e co"!etiti(e, gain co"!etiti(e
ad(antage or increase its co"!etiti(e ad(antage) =A "ar'eting o!!ortunity is an area
of *uyer need and interest in which there is a high !ro*a*ility that a co"!any can
!rofita*ly satisfy that need? (Fotler and Feller #$$8:5#)) &he "ar'eting o!!ortunities
can *e grou!ed in three "ain sources) &he first one is to find so"ething that is already
in short su!!ly, the second one is to find a new or *etter way to offer the ser(ice and
su!!ly the !roduct) &his can *e done in se(eral ways, for ea"!le =*y as'ing
consu"ers for their suggestions (!ro*le" detection "ethod) GandH *y as'ing
consu"ers to i"agine an ideal (ersion of the !roduct or ser(ice (ideal "ethod)?
(Fotler and Feller #$$8:5#)) &he third one often leads to a new !roduct or ser(ice
(Fotler and Feller #$$8:5#))
&he analysis can also re(eal so"e !otential threats that "ight *e a(oided if
realized in ti"e) :ealizing the nature of these threats can *e crucial so the co"!any
will not fall *ehind in the "ar'et (Fotler and Feller #$$8:5#))
In order to *e a*le to ta'e a *ig ad(antage of the o!!ortunities in the "ar'et, the
co"!any has to 'now where its strengths and wea'nesses lie) In order to find that out
an internal analysis of the co"!any0s strengths and wea'nesses should *e done)
=G&Hhe *usiness does not ha(e to correct all its wea'nesses, nor should it gloat a*out
all its strengths? (Fotler and Feller #$$8:54)) Instead it has to decide if it wants to use
the o!!ortunities that re/uire so"e of the strengths it already has, or if it should try to
a!!ly so"e of the o!!ortunities that re/uire that it de(elo!s new strengths (Fotler and
Feller #$$8:54))
!. The game of oker
+o'er is a so called =(ying ga"e !layed with standard !laying@cards?
(www)!agat)co" 2)) &he "ain !ur!ose is to *et on who has the *est hand) Many !ots
can *e won without showing if the *est hand wins, due to a so called *luff, which was
one of the first na"es of !o'er (www)!agat)co" 2))
!.1The history of oker
Ia"*ling and card ga"es ha(e a history that is se(eral hundreds or e(en
thousands of years old (www)ga"*lingorigins)co"J)) Ao one really 'nows though
when our ancestors first started to use cards as a !art of their ho**y)
In 3uro!e there were !layed "any ga"es that were si"ilar to !o'er, for
ea"!le *rag, !ochen and !o/ue which was a newer (ersion of !ri"e) &he +ersian
ga"e of As Aas, which "eans "y *elo(ed ace, is often na"ed as well when tal'ing
a*out the history of !o'er) -hether that was the ga"e that is the forerunner of +o/ue
or (ice (ersa is not 'nown with certainty, *ut it is *elie(ed that As Aas is e"ulated
after +o/ue) &he French did a lot of trading in +ersia in the 28
and 21
century, for
ea"!le card ga"es and dec's (McManus #$$1))
+o'er is said to ha(e *een *orn in a French territory in central Aew .rleans in
the *eginning of the 2%
century) Bac' then !o'er was !layed with a dec' of #$ cards
that only had A@F@K@B@2$ in 7 suits) &he 5#@card ga"e that we 'now today was
introduced in the "id 294$s) &hat e(ol(e"ent "eant that "ore !layers could !lay at
the sa"e ti"e and the winning co"*inations increased) Most i"!ortantly though, it
"ade it !ossi*le to !lay with a draw, which "o(ed !o'er fro" *eing won nearly only
*y luc' to *e a ga"e of s'ills (www)!agat)co" #))
!.! Poker as it is today
+o'er is !layed with a nor"al dec' of !laying cards) In "ost for"s of !o'er,
you use your *est 5 cards to try to win a hand) &he (alue of the hand is ran'ed the
sa"e way for al"ost all 5 card !o'er ga"es where the highest hand wins) &he *est
hand !ossi*le is the :oyal flush and the worst hand is when you only ha(e a so@called
high cardE no !air and nothing else that is *etter than a !air) At www)!o'erstars)co",
it is !ossi*le to see all the different (alues that a 5 card !o'er hand can ha(e
(www)!o'erstars)co" 4))
&he "ost !o!ular (ariants of !o'er today can *e !ut in three grou!s, draw
!o'er, stud !o'er and co""unity card !o'er) Lraw !o'er is !layed with *linds that
ha(e to *e !ut in the !ot *y the two !layers sitting to the left of the dealer *utton)
+layers are then dealt their whole hands, which consist of fi(e cards, and one round of
*etting starts) -hen it is finished !layers can choose which cards, if any, they want to
change) After that the second round of *etting starts and then, finally, showdown if
"ore than one !layer is still in the !ot) &he "ost fa"ous (ariant of draw !o'er is the
5 card draw, a ga"e that "any !layers started their !o'er interest with and was the
first (ariant "any !layed (www)!o'erstars)co" 7))
Stud !o'er is also a (ery !o!ular (ariant of !o'er) In the seven card stud the
!layers are dealt se(en cards each and use fi(e of the" to "a'e the *est hand
!ossi*le) All !layers start with !utting antes in the !ot) +layers are first dealt two
hidden cards and one (isi*le card) &he !layer that has the lowest (isi*le card then has
to !ut the so@called *ring@in in the !ot) After that co"es one *etting round) &hen
!layers are dealt 4 (isi*le cards, one at a ti"e with *etting rounds *etween the") &he
final card that is dealt is hidden and the final round of *etting *egins and the
showdown follows after that (www)!o'erstars)co" 5))
&wo of the "ost !o!ular (ariants of !o'er are *oth in the co""unity card
!o'er grou!, Holde" and ."aha) In co""unity card !o'er the *linds structure is the
sa"e as in draw !o'er) +layers are dealt two hidden cards in Holde" and four in
."aha *efore one *etting round *egins) After that round the flo! co"es, which is
three cards that any !layer can use to i"!ro(e his hand) Another *etting round co"es,
then the turn and the ri(er with a *etting round in *etween) Both the turn and the ri(er
are also cards that any !layer can use) After the ri(er the final *etting round *egins
which ends with showdown) In Holde" !layers can use any 5 cards *ut in ."aha
they ha(e to use two and only two of their hole cards in "a'ing a hand
(www)!o'erstars)co" 8))
It is also (ery !o!ular to !lay so@called "ied ga"es, where one for"at is
!layed for a certain ti"e, and then changed to another) Many different "ied ga"es
can *e !layed, all de!ending on what ga"es are *eing "ied together)
!.% $nline oker
As e(erything else, !o'er ca"e online) &he first online !o'er site,
www)!lanet!o'er)co", o!ened in 2%%9) 3(en though +lanet +o'er was the only
online !o'er roo" for a short !eriod of ti"e, it has ne(er *een a (ery *ig one)
Howe(er, =the initial ra'e structure it set, 5M u! to a <4 "a ra'e, has *een "irrored
*y other !o'er roo"s? (www)!o'erti!s)org)) In 2%%% !aradise!o'er)co" o!ened and
/uic'ly *eca"e one of the *iggest online !o'er roo"s) In #$$2 !o'erstars)co" and
!arty!o'er)co" o!ened as well) +arty!o'er started a tourna"ent called +arty +o'er
Millions and with a huge &N@co""ercial ca"!aign they soon had o(er half of all
online !layers at their ta*les (www)!o'erlisten)d'J)) Fulltilt!o'er started in Buly #$$7)
It was i"!le"ented *y 4 of the "ost fa"ous !rofessional !o'er !layers in the world
and e(er since it started it has had "any fa"ous !ros *oth !laying on its site and
s!onsored *y it) Since Fulltilt started they ha(e *een growing /uic'ly and are now
one of the *iggest !o'ersites in the world (www)!o'er@fulltilt)co"))
After an a"ateur !layer, 6hris Money"a'er, won the -orld Series of +o'er
(-S.+) "ain e(ent in #$$4, e(erything changed) He had won his seat in this
tourna"ent through satellites at !o'erstars)co") First he won one that had <4% *uy@in,
which ga(e hi" a tic'et to another satellite that had a -S.+ !ac'age as a first !rice)
He won that one too and went to the -S.+ "ain e(ent to ta'e ho"e <#,5 "illion)
-hen !eo!le saw this ordinary "an change only <4% dollars into <#,5 "illion, !o'er
*eca"e "ore !o!ular than e(er (www)!o'erstars)co" 2)) Ietting into the *ig
tourna"ents is e(ery !o'er !layers drea", and with all the satellites running on the
internet, the chance is closer than e(er)

!.& Texas 'oldem
&eas Holde" is =the world0s "ost !o!ular !o'er ga"e, *oth in li(e casinos
and online at +o'erStars? (www)!o'erstars)co" 1)) Loyle Brunson, one of the "ost
fa"ous !o'er !layers in the world, regarded *y "any as the *est !o'er !layer of all
ti"e (www)!o'er!ages)co" 2), calls it the 6adillac of !o'er, and for a good reason)
&his is the ga"e that is !layed in the "ain e(ent of the -S.+, the *iggest tourna"ent
in the world, and "any !rofessional !layers get "ost of their inco"e !laying this
(ariant of !o'er (www)!o'er!ages)co" #))
&eas Holde" was first !layed in &eas and was only !layed there for a few
years) -hen the -S.+ cha"!ionshi! e(ent decided to use &eas Holde" as the
(ariant of !o'er to !lay in 2%12, it got "ore attention and was !layed in "ore !laces)
Howe(er, it was not until #$$4, after the fa"ous win *y 6hris Money"a'er, that
&eas Holde" *eca"e as enor"ously !o!ular as it is today) .f course other things
hel!ed, such as the 2%%9 fil" :ounders that used &eas Holde" as its "ain ga"e, and
the -orld +o'er &our (-+&) which has &eas Holde" as their ga"e in the whole
tourna"ent (www)!o'er!ages)co" #))
%. (bout Pokerstars
+o'erstars started in #$$2 and after 6hris Money"a'er changed <4% to <#,5
"illion *y !laying a satellite at +o'erstars, it /uic'ly *eca"e one of the *iggest online
!o'er site there is) As "any other !o'er sites, they clai" that they are the *iggest
online !o'er site in the industry) &o find out which online !o'er site is the *iggest can
*e (ery difficult) But +o'erstars ha(e at least few things that !ro(e how *ig they are)
&hey hold the world record in "ost !layers !laying at the sa"e ti"e online) &hat
record was a!!ro(ed *y the Iuinness -orld :ecords at 4$
of Lece"*er, when
al"ost 25# thousand !layers were !laying online at +o'erstars (www)!o'erstars)co"
9)) Since then they ha(e *ro'en that record a nu"*er of ti"es, and their *iggest field
of si"ultaneous online !layers ha(e reached #5$ thousand at one !oint) &hey also
hold the record for nu"*er of !layers in the sa"e tourna"ent, when 45 thousand
!layers registered for an <22 *uy@in tourna"ent with a <2$$ thousand guarantee on
Lece"*er #9
#$$9 (www)!oc'etfi(es)co")) After the OS *anned online !o'er, so"e
!o'ersites sto!!ed acce!ting !layers fro" the OS) +o'erstars and Fulltilt *oth allow
OS !layers *ut +arty!o'er does not) After +arty!o'er did this it is the general (iew in
the industry that +o'erstars is the *iggest one around (www)card!layer)co" 2))
+o'erstars is registered in Isle of Man which is in the British Isles) &hey hold
their license with the Isle of Man Ia"*ling Su!er(ision 6o""ission) In order to *e
a*le to ha(e their license there, they ha(e to o*ey rules and regulations that are set *y
the 6o""ission) &he !ri"e ones are that the ga"*ling industry shall *e cri"e free,
that young and (ulnera*le will *e !rotected and that the *usiness is fairly in all ways)
&hese rules and "any other /uality standards that +o'erstars and other fir"s ha(e in
their contract to the 6o""ission ensure that a !layer0s "oney is sa(e and that he will
*e treated fairly (www)!o'erstars)co" %))
+o'erstars has two different do"ains, www)!o'erstars)net and
www)!o'erstars)co") &he one with )net has its focus on !lay "oney !layers and those
who are new to +o'erstars) &he )co" do"ain has its "ain focus on real "oney
!layers) &he difference *etween those two ho"e!ages is (ery li"ited) In the to! right
corner of each ho"e!age is a counter that tells a (isitor how "any !layers are online
at the "o"ent and how "any tourna"ents are *eing !layed) 3(en though it is not
stated anywhere, one "ust assu"e that the counter for the )net do"ain "ust *e for
!lay "oney ga"es only and (ice (ersa) Howe(er, it is (ery dou*tful how accurate the
nu"*er of online !layers is) -hen a real "oney !layer is in the software and deciding
which ga"e to enter, he can easily go into a !lay "oney ga"e in a few seconds, as all
real "oney !layers ha(e !lay "oney on their account as well) Another thing that
scra"*les this count is that a !lay@"oney !layer can !lay in so@called freerolls that
ha(e real "oney !rices, so there they "ust *e called real "oney !layers) &he
tourna"ent counter can howe(er *e hel!ful to see when !ea' hours are if !layers are
only loo'ing for good tourna"ents and not cash ga"es)
As was "entioned in cha!ter 2)5 a*out &eas Holde", it is *y far the "ost
!o!ular (ariant of !o'er today) 3(en so, it is i"!ortant for !o'ersites to offer the
!ossi*ility of !laying other (ariants of !o'er) &hrough the +o'erstars software it is
!ossi*le not only to !lay the "ost !o!ular (ariety of !o'er and the one that is "ost
often !layed on &N, &eas Holde", *ut also =(irtually e(ery 'ind of !o'er you can
i"agine a(aila*le? (www)!o'erstars)net #))
&. (n analysis of the marketing mix at Pokerstars
&his analysis will go through each of the Se(en +s of the ser(ice "ar'eting
"i for +o'erstars) +o'erstars is one of the "ost successful !o'ersite there is, so it
"ust *e concluded that their "ar'eting "i is one of the *est in the industry)
Howe(er, as the co"!etition gets harder e(ery day, it is i"!ortant for the" to 'now
where their strong !oints are and where they can i"!ro(e their co"!any, in order to
increase the nu"*er of !layers on their site) &he nu"*er of new !layers at online
!o'er sites has *een rising for so"e ti"e now and still is, so getting a !art of these
!layers to a site is (ital for the site) If +o'erstars will not succeed in getting new
!layers to their site, they could get into *ig trou*le in a short !eriod of ti"e)
&.1 Product
=+roduct is the first and "ost i"!ortant ele"ent of the "ar'eting "i? (Fotler
and Feller #$$8:4%8)) 6lassifying !roduct for "any ser(ice co"!anies is "uch "ore
difficult than for co"!anies that sell or wor' with tangi*le !roducts) &his is es!ecially
the case for co"!anies that sell software through the internet li'e !o'er sites do, since
you can download the software and use it without e(er touching anything or tal'ing to
anyone for that "atter) So the definition of the conce!t =!roduct? can *e and is (ery
wide) Fotler and Feller define !roduct as =anything that can *e offered to a "ar'et to
satisfy a want or need? (Fotler and Feller #$$8:41#)) +roducts are then classified
after their characteristics and the "ar'eting "i used for !roducts differ after this
classification) &he !roduct that +o'erstars offers is classified as ser(ice (Fotler and
Feller #$$8:414))
-hen using the !roduct definition for the !o'er industry, it is *etter to use the
word want instead of need, *ecause of all the tal' a*out ga"*ling !ro*le" that has
often *een connected to !o'er) Ia"*ling and !o'er is (ery often !ut in the sa"e
sentence, *ut only *y !eo!le that ne(er !lay !o'er and don0t 'now anything a*out the
ga"e) +o'er is a ga"e of luc' and s'ill, and is so far away fro" *eing only a*out luc'
(-ein*erg #$$8)) &his sad "isunderstanding is the reason why !o'er is *anned in so
"any countries)
&.1.1 The five roduct level model
&he fi(e !roduct le(el "odel is a good way to show how "uch (alue the
custo"er gets fro" each !art of the !roduct offering)
(Fotler and Feller #$$8:41#)
-ith each le(el fro" the core, the custo"er (alue increases) &his "odel can *e used
to see where it is !ossi*le to gain co"!etiti(e ad(antage) +roducts that ha(e the sa"e
!ur!ose ha(e the sa"e core *enefit so to gain co"!etiti(e ad(antage it is *etter to
loo' for !ossi*ilities at the other le(els)
&he core *enefit that a custo"er is getting fro" +o'erstars is the !ossi*ility
and the enCoy"ent of !laying !o'er) As e(eryone can download their software and
!lay for free, the core *enefit is co"!letely satisfied and there is no need to change it
in any way)
&he *asic !roduct would *e classified as the software that can *e downloaded
of the +o'erstars ho"e!age) &he software has to ena*le the !layers to !lay !o'er with
other !layers that are online at the sa"e ti"e)
&he e!ected !roduct: +layers e!ect that they are a*le to !lay cash ga"es,
and (arious tourna"ents with *oth !lay and real "oney) &he !ossi*ility of
!laying "any different ty!es of !o'er has to *e there as well, e(en though &eas
Holde" is *y far the "ost !layed (ariant)
At the aug"ented !roduct le(el, the custo"er su!!ort and the security of the
site are *y far the "ost i"!ortant things) &his is es!ecially i"!ortant for !layers that
are !laying real "oney ga"esE as they want to *e sure that their "oney is sa(e) &his
le(el !ro(ides the *iggest !ossi*ility for gaining a co"!etiti(e ad(antage in the
!o'ersite industry)
Si"ilar to tourna"ent, *ut starts only when certain a"ount of !layers ha(e registered)
+o'erstars has to loo' closely after the !otential !roduct le(el) In order to 'ee!
their !layers, they ha(e to ha(e new tourna"ents starting constantly, and *ig online
e(ents are getting etre"ely !o!ular) +o'erstars offers the *iggest selection of
tourna"ents and satellites to li(e tourna"ents in the industry (www)!o'erstars)co"
2$)) As ha(ing the *iggest a"ount of !layers !laying at their site, they ha(e cash
ga"e ta*les and SitDIo0s a(aila*le with (arious sta'e !ossi*ilities al"ost e(ery
second, as well as ha(ing se(eral tourna"ents starting e(ery hour
(www)!o'erstars)co" 22)) +o'erstars is the host of the *iggest online tourna"ent, the
-orld 6ha"!ionshi! of .nline +o'er (-6..+) (www)!o'erstars)co" 2#)) :ecently
they also started another *ig online e(ent, the S!ring 6ha"!ionshi! of .nline +o'er
(S6..+)) &hat one is s!ecial *ecause it has three different *uy@ins for e(ery
tourna"ent, which ena*les !layers that are !laying lower sta'es to !lay as well
(www)!o'erstars)co" 24))
&.1.! The roduct )industry* life cycle
If the online !o'er industry is !laced on the !roduct (industry) life cycle cur(e,
it should *e !laced in the growth stage !eriod)
It has *een growing fast for the last cou!le of years and see"s to *e still growing
strong) For how long it will continue is hard to say, *ut if "ore countries, the OSA
and so"e *ig Asian nations for ea"!le, will allow online !o'er, the growth can go
on for se(eral years)
3(en though e(erything loo's great for the !o'er industry at the "o"ent, the
ti"e will co"e that it will reach its "aturity stage) -hen this ha!!ens it is not
unli'ely that it will follow a growth@slu"!@"aturity !attern)
(Fotler and Feller #$$8:4#4)
.nline !o'er is still relati(ely new and *ecause of how easy it is to try it,
"any !eo!le that are used to !lay only ho"e ga"es with friends or ha(e e(en ne(er
!layed !o'er can easily try it in the con(enience of their own ho"e) Howe(er, a !art
of these !layers "ay not li'e the ga"e or !refer to only !lay li(e with friends or at
casinos) At so"e !oint new !eo!le online will get fewer, and a slu"! in online
!layers will occur) &hen all the online !layers that will *e !laying regularly will *e
left and the industry will go on to its "aturity stage) At this stage the co"!etition will
*e (ery hard (Fotler and Feller #$$8:4#4))
&he +P6 cur(e has *een criticized for not *eing a*le to co!e with the
e(aluation of the "ar'et (Fotler and Feller #$$8:442)) As the technology is
constantly e(ol(ing, this can *e a restraint for the use of the +P6 cur(e for the online
!o'er industry) -hat the technology will do for the industry is i"!ossi*le to say) .ne
!art of !o'er that has not *eco"e a(aila*le in online !o'er yet, is the !ossi*ility of
!hysical tells) .ne of the "ost fa"ous !o'er !layer in the world, Loyle Brunson,
*elie(es that online !o'er will *e si"ilar to (ideo conferences, where you will *e a*le
to see the other !layers) &hat way all, or at least "ost of the !hysical tells, will co"e
to the online !o'er as well (Brunson #$$1:91@99)) -hen this or so"ething else
changes the online !o'er world, another growth stage could start) Howe(er, it is (ery
li'ely that it will follow the sa"e !ath again) More !eo!le "ight start to !lay *ecause
of this, *ut only few of the" will *eco"e regular !layers, so the industry will
!ro*a*ly follow the growth@slu"!@"aturity !attern again)
&.1.% The software
&he software online !o'ersites use is the closest to a tangi*le !roduct that the
!layers use in order to do *usiness with the site, and is therefore (ery i"!ortant) Bad
software can *e the only reason !layers say they disli'e a !o'er site) +o'erstars ha(e
recei(ed a lot of co"!li"ents a*out their software) It is said to *e (ery easy to
custo"ize to your own needs, whether it is the size of the lo**y and the ta*le, or if it
is the ta*le the"e) It is also !ossi*le to ha(e a !icture of anything you li'e (to a
certain li"it of course) as your !ersonal a(atar) All the infor"ation a*out the
tourna"ent can *e found in the tourna"ent lo**y, for ea"!le a(erage stac' and the
running ti"e) A few s"all things ha(e *een "entioned that are "issing fro" their
software, for ea"!le a cou!le of chec'*oes, which could ease lea(ing a cash ga"e
ta*le (www)card!layer)co" 2)) .(erall the software gets good grades and is
recognized *y "any !layers and we*sites as a (ery good one (www)tight!o'er)co"))
&.! Price
&he !rice of !laying at a certain !o'er site is so"ething that "ost a"ateur
!o'er !layers !ro*a*ly do not !ay a lot of attention to) &he !rofessional !o'er !layers
are howe(er constantly focusing on that, and encouraging e(eryone to do so) .nline
!o'ersites li'e +o'erstars are not casinos, "eaning that the !layer ne(er !lays against
the =house?) &hey guarantee that you will only !lay against other !layers that are in
the sa"e shoes as you are and =you will ne(er !lay against any house *ots, shills
(!aid !layers), co"!uterized o!!onents or against the =house? in any way?
(www)!o'erstars)co" 27))
&.!.1 +ake and tournament fee
-hen !laying !o'er online, there are two ways the site gets !aid) In cash
ga"es, the site ta'es a s"all !ercentage of each !ot, called the ra'e (Snyder #$$8:24))
&he ra'e structure (aries a little *etween sites, *ut the *asic structure is (ery si"ilar
throughout the industry) Many !o'ersites ha(e a ca! around <4 at the highest le(els,
*ut +o'erstars has <5 ca! on their highest le(el (www)!o'erstars)co" 25)) All sites
ha(e a ra'e structure !age on their ho"e!age, so loo'ing at it *efore choosing a site
to !lay on is a good idea for all !layers, no "atter what li"its they !lay on)
&he other way !o'er sites get !aid is through tourna"ent fees) -hen a !layer
!ays for !laying at "ost tourna"ents, the *iggest !art of the "oney goes into the
!rice !ool, while a little !art of it goes to the site) &he tourna"ent fee to the site is
often around 2$M, which "eans that if it costs <2$ to enter the tourna"ent you ha(e
to !ay <22 to enter) &his is often written as <2$ Q <2 (www)online!o'erfa/)co"))
&.!.! +akeback
&he !ossi*ility of a ra'e*ac' is so"ething that "any !layers loo' at when
choosing site to !lay on) It differs a lot *etween sites if they allow ra'e*ac's and
those who do, how "uch !ercentage they are gi(ing *ac' to the !layers) +o'erstars
ha(e decided not to allow ra'e *ac' at their site, and *eing one of the *iggest ones
around, they can easily get away with it (www)to!ra'e*ac')d' 2)) Fulltilt offers #1M
ra'e *ac', *ut you will ha(e to a!!ly for it when you create your account) If you do
not do that, you cannot get ra'e *ac' fro" the") +arty!o'er, Cust li'e +o'erstars, is
against ra'e*ac' and does not offer any ra'e*ac' deals (www)to!ra'e*ac')d' #))
In order to get ra'e*ac' fro" a !o'ersite, you will usually ha(e to sign u! to a
!o'er site through an affiliate) =An affiliate is so"eone who signs u! !layers and
earns "oney fro" the !layers0 ra'e? (www)*an'roll*oost)co")) It is !ossi*le to find
"any sites that are affiliates and can get good offers for !layers on so"e !o'ersites)
&he affiliate gets a cou!le of !ercent of the ra'e*ac' *ut "ost of it goes *ac' to the
!layer0s *an'roll (www)*an'roll*oost)co"))
&.% Place
=+lace si"!ly refers to how you will sell your !roduct to your custo"ers?
(www)*usiness*ureau@u')co)u')) +o'erstars is one of the "any co"!anies that only
eist on the internet) For +o'erstars, !lace refers to for ea"!le how they choose the
we*sites they !ut their *anners on, how they use the !ros they s!onsor to !ro"ote the
site etc) In order to 'now where to !ut their *anners they ha(e to 'now what we*sites
their target grou! (isit (www)learn"ar'eting)net)) Many !o'er "agazines ha(e
ho"e!ages that online !o'er sites fight a*out getting lin's on) &his will *e discussed
further in the +ro"otion cha!ter)
3(en though online !o'er sites are of course only online, it is a good idea for
the" to so"ehow connect to their !layers in order to !ro"ote i"age of a co"!any
that is "ore than Cust software on the net) Most of the !rofessional !o'er !layers ha(e
a site that s!onsors the" and they are co""itted to !lay only on that one site and !lay
in clothes "ar'ed their logo during li(e e(ents) All this "a'es the internet !laying
"ore tangi*le) It is also "ore entertaining if you 'now that one of the !layers that sits
on the sa"e ta*le as you is a fa"ous !o'er !layer) +o'erstars and Fulltilt!o'er are the
two !o'er sites that ha(e *een leading the industry when it co"es to recruiting
!rofessional !o'er !layers to their sites) But when it co"es to using their !ros as
"uch as !ossi*le, Fulltilt!o'er is doing a "uch *etter Co*) 3(en though +o'erstars
ha(e started to use their !ros "ore, they are still one ste! *ehind Fulltilt!o'er)
At Fulltilt!o'er, it is !ossi*le to ha(e a so@called a(atar on the ta*le instead of
a !icture li'e on "any other sites, li'e +o'erstars) -ith these a(atars you can show
your feelings *y changing their a!!earance, fro" ha!!y to angry) If you howe(er do
not li'e seeing these a(atars it is no !ro*le" to turn the" off) -hat the *est thing
a*out the" is though is the fact that the Fulltilt !ros ha(e s!ecial a(atars that are
*asically a cartoon figure of the" (www)referralcodefulltilt)co")) &he +o'erstars !ros
do not all use their real na"e as their online na"e, and with "ay*e Cust so"e !icture
or e(en no !icture at all, you "ight not 'now that you are !laying against a fa"ous
!layer) At Fulltilt you can howe(er always see the !ros faces and "ost of the" use
their real na"e as an online na"e, so searching for the" is no !ro*le" if you would
li'e to rail
a ta*le they are !laying at)
Means the ri" of the ta*le or *arrier that 'ee!s (iewers away fro" the ta*le (www)e(ery!o'er)co"
2)) &he (iewers are called rail*irds (www)e(ery!o'er)co" #)) :ail is often used as a slang in online
&here are "any !ossi*ilities to !lay against the !ros at Fulltilt) &hey !lay all
the ti"e on (arious li"its, *ut "any of the" !lay "ost of the ti"e high li"it cash
ga"es which not "any !layers ha(e the *an'roll to !lay at) &hey are also often
!laying in tourna"ents that ha(e a large range of li"its) 3(en if !layers do not ha(e
the *an'roll to co"!ete in those tourna"ents, "ost of the ti"e they can try to win
tic'ets to the *igger tourna"ents *y satellites) Another fun !lus with !laying against
!ros in tourna"ent is that if you *ust a !ro out of a tourna"ent with 4$ !layers or
"ore, you get the *uy@in of the tourna"ent *ac', u! to <#$$ (www)fulltilt!o'er)co"
Fulltilt also hosts an online tourna"ent they call Full &ilt .nline +o'er Series
(F&.+S)) &he first F&.+S started in August #$$8 and in May #$$% the F&.+S RII
will *e !layed) &his one will ha(e #5 e(ents and a guaranteed !rize !ool of o(er <29
"illion) -hat is s!ecial a*out this series is that each e(ent is hosted *y so"e of the
"ost fa"ous !ros that are signed with Fulltilt) In addition to these !layers there are
often "any other !ros that !lay on these tourna"ents) So for an a"ateur !layer, this is
a (ery eciting field to !lay on)
+o'erstars ha(e not *een as effecti(e in using the !ros in order to increase
!layer nu"*ers at their ta*les) .ne +o'erstars !ro !lays against the !layer that is
nu"*er one in the tourna"ent leader *oard (&PB) each wee' heads u! for <2$$$
(www)!o'erstars)co" 28))
A cou!le of +o'erstars !ros will also *e instructing in a !o'er ca"! that
+o'erstars will host) &his is a two day ca"! that will *e held *efore &he 3uro!ean
+o'er &our (3+&) "ain e(ent in Monte 6arlo starts) It is !ossi*le to win a seat in this
!o'er ca"! in a satellite at +o'erstars and *uy@in directly (www)!o'erstars)co" 21))
A new e(ent was started in the end of March #$$% at +o'erstars, the +o'erstars All
Star -ee') In this e(ent, !layers that !lay online at +o'erstars had the !ossi*ility to
!lay heads@u! against a +o'erstars !ro for a <2$$$) +layers that ha(e had success in
so"e tourna"ent in #$$9 were in(ited *ut it was also !ossi*le to win a seat in this
e(ent through satellites (www)winall!o'er)co"))
As can *e seen fro" this o(er(iew of !ossi*ilities, Fulltilt is using their !ros
"uch "ore efficiently than +o'erstars is doing) &his is one of the things +o'erstars
can i"!ro(e, as they are s!onsoring "any fa"ous !ros, Cust as Fulltilt) For "any
!o'er for watching the action)
a"ateur !layers the !ossi*ility of !laying against a !ro increases the ecite"ent of the
&.& Promotion , the romotion mix
&he !ro"otion !art of the Four +s has often *een de*ated) &he other three +s
=nicely corres!ond to the three cited generic functions, G*utH Mc6arthy0s fourth + only
roughly corres!onds to the fourth generic function? (-aterschoot 2%%5:749)) As was
"entioned in cha!ter 2)2)2, 6riticis" of the "ar'eting "i conce!t, !ro"otion has
*een di(ided into few classes) .nly the su*classes that are "ost rele(ant for
+o'erstars and the online !o'er industry will *e used in this !a!er)
&.&.1 (dvertising
+arallel to the increasing !o!ularity of !o'er, the (isi*ility of ad(ertise"ents
fro" the !o'er industry has increased enor"ously) &he co"!etition in the industry
has also *eco"e tougher as "ore and "ore !o'er sites are entering the "ar'et) &he
"ain field of ad(ertise"ent in the online !o'er industry see"s to *e on tele(ision, in
(arious "agazines and news!a!ers, and as *anners on we*sites) &hey usually don0t
send direct "ail to anyone and they only send an e"ail to those who ha(e an account
at their site)
+o'erstars ha(e *een (ery efficient in "a'ing &N and we* ca"!aigns, which of
course draws the attention of !otential !layers to their site
(www)!lay"oney!o'ersite)co")) +o'erstars ha(e recently "ade "any tele(ision
ad(ertise"ents where you can see so"e of the fa"ous +o'erstars +ros tal' a*out the
ecite"ent of !laying !o'er, and co"!aring it to the ecite"ent of !laying s!orts or
doing etre"e s!ort) Nanessa :ousso says for ea"!le that it is no !ro*le" to go
*ungee Cu"!ing co"!ared to !laying !o'er (www)!o'erstars)co" 29)) Here in
Len"ar', +o'erstars often has ad(ertise"ents on &N) &hose co""ercials are "ostly
a*out all the Aordic freerolls that Lanish !layers can !lay in, where they ha(e the
!ossi*ility to win =free? "oney as well as a tic'et to an 3+& e(ent)
A *ig !art of new !layers that are trying online !o'er for the first ti"e ha(e
+o'erstars as their first choice of sites) &his can *e due to "any reasons) For ea"!le,
+o'erstars is *y far the "ost (isi*le logo on "any *ig li(e e(ents) &hey for ea"!le
had "ore !layers /ualify through satellites to the #$$9 -S.+ "ain e(ent than all
other sites co"*ined (www)!o'erstars)co" 2%)) &hese !layers wear clothes "ar'ed
with the +o'erstars logo, so ha(ing all these !layers on the sa"e field is (ery good
ad(ertising as !o'er has *eco"e one of the "ost (iewed e(ents in tele(ision (Brunson
#$$1:#$@#2)) &he other !o'ersites are well aware of the i"!ortance of this 'ind of
ad(ertising, and Fulltilt!o'er is for ea"!le !ro"ising <2$ "illion to the !layer that
wins #$$% -S.+ "ain e(ent if he wins his seat in the "ain e(ent through a satellite
at Fulltilt!o'er (www)fulltilt!o'er)co" #)) &hey will guarantee at least 25$ seats to
the "ain e(ent that "ight change the statistics fro" last "ain e(ent)
+o'erstars run an affiliate !rogra", where an owner of a we*site can !ut
*anners and lin's to the +o'erstars we*site) 3(ery ti"e a !erson signs u! after
clic'ing on a *anner or a lin' at a we*!age and uses a referral code "entioned on the
site, the owner of the we*!age gets !aid) Howe(er, in order to decrease the ris' of
a*use to this !rogra", the !layer has to earn 2$$ Fre/uent +layer +oints (F++s) *efore
the site gets !aid (www)!o'erstars)co" #$)) &his can *e a win@win situation, where
+o'erstars gets relati(ely chea! ad(ertise"ent that can *e (ery wides!read, and the
owner of the !age gets !aid for e(ery new custo"er using his referral code)
+arty!o'er also ha(e a (ery *ig affiliate !rogra" where their !artners can !ro"ote
the" in (arious ways online (www)!arty!artners)co")) Fulltilt has done this a little
differently) &hey offer we*sites to !ut different widgets on their ho"e!age, with
(arious things fro" Fulltilt, for ea"!le ti!s fro" their !ros, news a*out Fulltilt!o'er
and e(en a !o'er /uiz (www)fulltilt!o'er)co" 4))
+o'erstars has recently announced that the -orld Series 6ha"!ion of #$$9,
the Lane +eter 3astgate and the runner u! in the sa"e tourna"ent, the :ussian I(an
Le"ido(, are Coining the &ea" +o'erstars +ro (www)!o'erstars*log)co")) Ha(ing
fa"ous and !o!ular !ros !laying and "ar'eting their site when !laying li(e
tourna"ents is one of the *est ad(ertising that a !o'er site can get) S!onsoring the
newest !o'er stars is therefore a (ery good "ar'eting "o(e for +o'erstars) +o'erstars
and Fulltilt!o'er are the two sites that ha(e the *iggest stars in the !o'er world
!laying on their sites)
+o'er is now so !o!ular that the "ost fa"ous !o'er stars ha(e *eco"e
cele*rities and other cele*rities want to !lay !o'er) +o'er has also *een !o!ular with
"any athletes that ha(e retired fro" their s!ort and ha(e wanted to 'ee! co"!eting in
so"ething else, so"ething that their *odies could hold to) .ne of those athletes is the
fa"ous tennis !layer, Boris Bec'er) A few years after his retire"ent fro" tennis,
+o'erstars signed hi" to their tea") &hat is not *ecause of his talents as a !o'er
!layer, Cust !ure "ar'eting (www)ga"*ling)co"))
&.&.! "onsorshi
+o'erstars are the "ain s!onsor for "any *ig li(e tourna"ents and ha(e so"e of
the "ost successful !rofessional !o'er !layers on their tea") Fulltilt is not the "ain
s!onsor of any *ig li(e tourna"ents *ut when it co"es to *eing a s!onsor for
!rofessional !layers, no other site co"es close (www)teasholde"@'ing)co"))
+arty!o'er used to s!onsor one *ig li(e tourna"ent, called +arty!o'er Million) -hen
*rowsing through their ho"e!age, nothing can *e found a*out this tourna"ent) &his
tourna"ent used to *e a -+& e(ent (www)!o'er!ages)co" 4) *ut after season 4 the
+arty!o'er Million is no longer on the schedule (www)!o'er!ages)co" 7)) &herefore,
it is li'ely that this tourna"ent no longer eist) -hether that is *ecause they no longer
allow !layers fro" the OS is hard to say, *ut it is li'ely as "ost of the -+&
tourna"ents ta'e !lace in the OS) +arty!o'er does not "ention anything a*out what
!layers (if any) they s!onsor on their ho"e!age)
S!onsoring *ig li(e e(ents "a'es +o'erstars "ore tangi*le to !layers) Many
!layers that !lay online ne(er !lay li(e, and if they do, they only do it with so"e
friends where the "ain goal is to ha(e fun) +laying in a *ig tourna"ent, and !ut your
!o'er s'ills to the test is so"ething that "ost !o'er !layers want) +o'erstars is the
"ain s!onsor of "any *ig tourna"ents, for ea"!le &he 3+& and &he Asian +acific
+o'er &our (A++&) (www)euro!ean!o'ertour)co")) Satellites are running all the ti"e
to the (arious tourna"ents at these !o'er tours, so e(eryone !laying at +o'erstars has
the !ossi*ility of at least trying to get a tic'et to one of these e(ents)
As said *efore, +o'erstars is a s!onsor for so"e of the *est !o'er !layers in
the world) &hese !o'er !layers !lay all their li(e tourna"ents "ar'ed with the
+o'erstars logo) But they also do (arious other tas's, which for ea"!le include
!laying against the winners of so"e tourna"ents, *eing inter(iewed regularly *y
!o'erstarst()co" during li(e e(ents, and !artici!ating in (arious e(ents that are not
only a*out !laying !o'er)
&he !layer who scores the highest on the tourna"ent leader *oard gets the
o!!ortunity to !lay against one "e"*er of the &ea" +o'erstars +ro heads@u!
(www)!o'erstars)co" 28)) +o'erstars has also often hosted li(e e(ents that ha(e *een
connected to *ig li(e tourna"ents) For the 3+& "ain e(ent in Monte 6arlo, which
will start the #9
of A!ril, two *ig e(ents are held) .ne of the" is a !o'er ca"!,
where you will first ha(e so"e !o'er !ros as instructors, tal'ing a*out (arious things
that !layers ha(e to ha(e in "ind when !laying in a (ery *ig tourna"ent li'e this one
(www)!o'erstars)co" 21)) &he other e(ent is called Ante O! For Africa) &his is a
tourna"ent that will ta'e !lace on the #1
of A!ril, where all the !rize "oney will *e
donated to charity) &his fun e(ent will ha(e "any "e"*ers of &ea" +o'erstars +ros
!laying in it as well as "any cele*rities fro" the entertain"ent industry
(www)!o'erstars)co" #2)) &his is with no dou*t a (ery fun e(ent to !lay in and
!laying for charity is !ro*a*ly new to "any !layers)
&hese are Cust so"e of the tas's the +o'erstars !ros ha(e to *e ready to do)
How +o'erstars uses the" as a !ro"otional tool was co(ered in cha!ter 7)4, +lace)
&.&.% "ales romotion
Sales !ro"otion is used to get new !layers to the site *y offering the"
*onuses or sign@u! fees of so"e 'ind, and to increase the traffic of eisting !layers *y
offering the" (arious *onuses if they de!osit "ore often or !lay "ore regularly
(www)"ar'etingteacher)co" 2))
An i"!ortant factor of what !o'ersite a new !layer chooses is a first@de!osit
*onus offering) &his *onus offer (aries widely *etween !o'er sites) .ne of the "ain
criticis"s that +o'erstars has recei(ed fro" (arious !o'er "agazines and others that
ha(e co"!ared !o'er sites, is that their *onus offerings, the first de!osit *onus offer
included, are so"e of the worst in the "ar'et) &hey offer to "atch your first de!osit
2$$M to a "ai"u" <5$ (www)!o'erstars)co" ##) which is (ery little co"!ared to
"any other sites) At fulltilt!o'er)co", for ea"!le, they "atch your first de!osit
2$$M to a "ai"u" of <8$$ (www)fulltilt!o'er)co" 7))
Many !o'ersites offer so@called refer@a@friend *onuses, where eisting !layers
can in(ite friends to !lay on sa"e site as they do, and *oth of the" will recei(e
"oney instead) Fulltilt!o'er offers a refer@a@friend *onus, where a !layer can get u! to
<2$$ !er friend he in(ites, and the friend gets <#5 (www)fulltilt!o'er)co" 5))
+arty!o'er also has an offer that is si"ilar to the one Fulltilt!o'er has, ece!t that the
friend gets u! to <5$ (htt!s:JJsecure)!artyaccount)co")) As with all other *onuses,
!layers will ha(e to earn a certain a"ount of !layer !oints in order to recei(e it)
+o'erstars has howe(er no *onus offers li'e this at the "o"ent)
+o'erstars does not !ut a lot of effort in reload *onuses, li'e "any other !ages
do) &hey clai" that e(ery now and then they will ha(e reload *onuses a(aila*le)
Howe(er, the e!erience of the author is that it ha!!ens (ery seldo", and when it
ha!!ens it is "ost often in connection with a *ig e(ent co"ing u!) &his is for ea"!le
the case now (when this is written), as the -S.+ "ain e(ent is co"ing u!) &hey are
offering a #$M reload *onus, which is not a *ig !ercentage, *ut it is at least so"ething
(www)!o'erstars)co" #4)) It see"s to *e (ery different *etween !o'er sites if they !ut
any effort in offering reload *onuses) For ea"!le, on www)fulltilt!o'er)co" there is
nothing "entioned a*out any !ossi*ility of reload *onuses, while +arty!o'er offers
so"eti"es e(en free dollars, with no de!osit re/uires, Cust to let !layers !lay "ore
Fulltilt!o'er offers ha!!y hours e(ery day) .n these ha!!y hours it is !ossi*le
to earn Fulltilt !oints two or three ti"es as fast as nor"al on s!ecially "ar'ed ta*les
(www)fulltilt!o'er)co" 8)) +o'erstars and +arty!o'er ha(e howe(er no such ha!!y
&he NI+ !rogra" at +o'erstars has a re!utation of *eing a (ery good one
(www)to!ra'e*ac')d' 2)) Fro" the "o"ent you start to !lay with real "oney at
+o'erstars, you *eco"e a NI+ !layer) &he first status you reach is so@called
BronzeStar) -hen you !lay in a cash ga"e with a /ualified ra'e (the a"ount of
/ualified ra'e differs de!ending on which li"it is *eing !layed) =or in a tourna"ent
where a fee is !aid, you earn NI+ +layer +oints (N++s) which deter"ine your NI+
le(el? (www)!o'erstars)co" #7)) +layers also get F++s for each /ualified hand they
!lay in real "oney cash ga"es or tourna"ents) &hese F++s can later *e used for
*uying into a tourna"ent or to !urchase "erchandize fro" the NI+ store
(www)!o'erstars)co" #5)) In the first NI+ status the !layer gets one F++ for e(ery
N++) As he goes higher on his NI+ status he gets "ore F++s for e(ery N++)
Fulltilt!o'er has a (ery si"ilar !oint syste" where !layers can collect so@
called full tilt !oints) &he rules for what ga"es you can earn !oints on and how "any
!oints the !layer gets fro" different !ot sizes and *uy@ins are (ery si"ilar to the ones
at +o'erstars) And as at +o'erstars, !layers can use their !oint for entering
tourna"ents or *uying clothes and "any other things fro" their Full &ilt +o'er Store
(www)fulltilt!o'er)co" 1)) At +arty!o'er you get !arty!oints e(ery ti"e you !lay
with real "oney) As on the other sites it is !ossi*le to use these !oints to *uy "any
things in the +arty!oint Store) -hat is different at +arty!o'er is that the !oints you
collect are not only fro" !o'er *ut fro" all the +artyga"ing !roducts, for ea"!le
!arty casino and !arty *ets) Another difference fro" the other sites is that +arty!o'er
does not ha(e a scale for !layers) &hey are all on the sa"e le(el and get their !oints at
the sa"e s!eed, according to the sta'es they !lay of course) .f those three sites,
+arty!o'er has the *est range of !ossi*ilities for using the !oints) In addition to all the
things that the other sites also offer, at +arty!o'er the !layer can also *uy hi"self
*onus offers, si"ilar to sign@u! and reload *onuses (www)!arty!o'er)co"))
&.- Peole
+eo!le are the "ost i"!ortant !art of a ser(ice co"!any, as they usually
!ro"ote the ser(ice, sell it and !ro(ide it (-aterschoot #$$$:2%7)) In the online
entertain"ent industry, this is also the case, e(en though it "ay not *e as (isi*le as in
other ser(ice industries) Behind the scene of !o'er software are co"!uter s!ecialists
that "a'e it !ossi*le for the software to run s"oothly) Fast and relia*le software is
one of the 'ey things a !o'ersite has to ha(e in order to draw !layers to their ta*les) A
re(iew of the software at +o'erstars is in the !roduct cha!ter, as the software is their
"ain !roduct)
.ne of the "ost i"!ortant things for !layers that !lay online is the custo"er
ser(ice at the site they !lay on) If they get into any trou*le while !laying or need hel!
at any !oint, for ea"!le with cashing inJout, it is i"!ortant to 'now that there are
!eo!le wor'ing #7J1 that can hel! the" with anything) +o'erstars ha(e *een 'nown to
ha(e a (ery good e"ail su!!ort ser(ice where you get an answer fro" 2$ "in u! to 4
hours, de!ending on the urgency of the e"ail (www)card!layer)co" 2)) Many !layers
"ight (iew it as a disad(antage that it is not !ossi*le to call the su!!ort, and that is no
dou*t a "inus) But *ecause of how fast the e"ail ser(ice is, this does not see" to
ha(e influence on the site)
&he !eo!le that !o'er fans can see are the !rofessional !o'er !layers that !lay
on &N, are inter(iewed *y "agazines and !lay (arious li(e tourna"ents) &hey are the
*est !ro"otional tool for the !o'er industry) How +o'erstars and Fulltilt!o'er use
their !ros to !ro"ote their sites was co(ered in cha!ters 7)4, +lace, and in 7)7,
&.. Process
&he *usiness !rocess at +o'erstars can *e a (ery long one) +layers that are
ha!!y with the software and the co"!any as a whole can *e !laying there for "any
years, where the !rocess is constant *ut will often re!eat itself) How the !rocess of a
*usiness relation *etween +o'erstars and a !layer starts is !ro*a*ly not the sa"e for
any !layer) &he !layer will ha(e to find out that +o'erstars eists, and how he hears
a*out the" for the first ti"e can *e (arious) -hen !eo!le are watching &N, or
*rowsing through the internet, (arious ads fro" "any different !o'er sites can a!!ear)
All the different na"es and !ro"ises can *e (ery inti"idating and it is (ery li'ely that
the choice of a site will *e rando", if nothing else *eco"es a factor in the selection
!rocess) &he *est and chea!est way for +o'erstars is when it is reco""ended *y a
friend, a so@called !eer@to@!eer co""unication) Ha(ing their current !layers satisfied
"eans that they are li'ely to reco""end the site to their friends and on (arious
internet foru"s) &hat is !ro*a*ly the "ost efficient ad(ertising a !o'ersite can get
(Sol"an #$$4)) Many sites ha(e the !ossi*ility for !layers to in(ite their friends to the
site, and "a'e "oney *y doing it) :efer@a@friend *onus offers were discussed in
cha!ter 7)7)4, Sales +ro"otion)
-hen a !layer has decided to choose +o'erstars he has to go to their
ho"e!age in order to get the software) +o'erstars ha(e two different do"ains,
+o'erstars)co" and +o'erstars)net) &his can *e a *it confusing for new !layers *ut the
difference is (ery li"ited as stated *efore) &he software that can *e downloaded is the
sa"e with one ece!tion) If a real "oney !layer downloads the software again for
so"e reason, and forgets his !assword, he has to download the software fro"
+o'erstars)co") &hat is *ecause when he clic's on the =forgot !assword? *utton the
infor"ation he has to fill out is a *it "ore !recise than Cust an e"ail address which is
the case for the !lay "oney !layers) It is /uestiona*le if ha(ing two do"ains is really
worth it)
&he downloading !rocess is (ery si"!le and is done with only a few clic's)
+o'erstars do not offer the !ossi*ility of !laying directly fro" the *rowser) Because
of how /uic' the downloading !rocess is, it is unli'ely that it will *eco"e a !ro*le"
to anyone) After ha(ing finished downloading, the !layer creates his account and
(erifies his e"ail address in order to ensure that the infor"ation gi(en has *een
correct (www)!o'erstars)co" #8)) After that he can !lay for free in the !lay "oney
tourna"ents and cash ga"es as well as the freerolls +o'erstars offers) If the !layer
wants to !lay with real "oney he can easily de!osit a "ini"u" of <2$ dollars to his
account *y (arious "eans (www)!o'erstars)co" #1)) After de!ositing for the first
ti"e the !layers ha(e the !ossi*ility of enCoying all the !o'er action that +o'erstars
offers) It is no !ro*le" to de!osit again and also (ery easy to cash out) &here are of
course few things that ha(e to *e confir"ed *efore the !layer cashes@out for the first
ti"e *ut it is in the *est interest of the !layer to "a'e his account as safe as !ossi*le)
As with "any other things, there is a !ossi*ility of *eco"ing addicted to
!laying !o'er) At +o'erstars, it is !ossi*le to state the "ai"u" a"ount that a !layer
wants to *e a*le to de!osit in a s!ecific ti"e !eriod) By doing that, +o'erstars is
trying to hel! !layers that "ight *e addicted to not *eing a*le to !lay the"sel(es
*an'ru!t online (www)!o'erstars)co" #1))
&he !rocess of !laying, de!ositing and cashing out can *e re!eated endless
ti"es while the !layer is acti(e on the site) It is (ery i"!ortant for +o'erstars that the
!layers will 'ee! !laying, *ecause they do not "a'e any "oney fro" !layers that
ha(e accounts that are not *eing used) Ao !art of the de!osit goes to the site so the
only !ossi*ility for +o'erstars to get "oney fro" the !layer is through ra'e and a !art
of tourna"ent fee) =So"e ser(ices re/uire the client0s !resence? (Fotler and Feller
#$$8:7$7)) &his is eactly the case for +o'erstars)
&./ Physical evidence
3(en though ser(ice is "ost of the ti"e intangi*le, there is always so"e !arts
of it that are tangi*le) &hose tangi*le things are the !hysical e(idence of the ser(ice
(www)"ar'etingteacher)co" #))
&he *iggest !hysical e(idence in the online !o'er industry is the ho"e!age of
the co"!any and the software that can *e downloaded fro" it) As was "entioned in
the !re(ious cha!ter has +o'erstars two different do"ains) &he *asic structure of the"
is si"ilar *ut not /uite the sa"e) In the )co" do"ain, the ad(ertising on the site is
"ostly a*out *ig online and life tourna"ents whereas on the )net do"ain the ads are
a*out the free tourna"ents and how it is !ossi*le to learn !o'er and !ractice your
s'ills online) .n *oth !ages is the !ossi*ility of changing the language on the siteE
howe(er these !ossi*ilities are not the sa"e for *oth do"ains) &hat indicates that they
ha(e different "ar'eting goals for different countries) For so"e countries they want to
introduce real "oney !lay as for others they want to introduce !o'er as a ga"e) In the
)co" do"ain are countries that can ha(e the site on their own language "ostly fro"
3uro!e, as on the )net do"ain there are also a few countries fro" Asia that ha(e the
!ossi*ility of changing to their own language, *ut the "aCority is still fro" 3uro!e)
&hat indicates that the target "ar'et for +o'erstars lies in 3uro!e, when it co"es to
real "oney !lay and the net continent they want to focus on is Asia so they ha(e the
introduction )net do"ain on so"e of their languages as well) 3nglish is of course their
"ain language)
&he site is (ery easy to *rowse and the ho"e!age is always only one clic'
away) At the *otto" of each !age is also a direct lin' to so"e !ages, including the site
"a! which can *e (ery hel!ful if you are loo'ing for a (ery s!ecific !art) &here is
howe(er no !ossi*ility of a search on the we*!age which can *e a downside *ut the
site "a! hel!s in that area)
Another thing that is (ery (isi*le to !layers is the +o'erstars logo) As has *een
"entioned *efore do all +o'erstars !ros ha(e to wear clothes "ar'ed with the
+o'erstars logo when !laying *ig li(e tourna"ents) +layers that /ualify to a li(e
tourna"ent through satellites at +o'erstars "ust also wear the +o'erstars logo
(www)!o'erstars)co" #9)) So ta'ing in the fact that often +o'erstars ha(e "ore
/ualifiers than any other !o'er sites co"*ined to (arious li(e tourna"ents, all the
wal'ing +o'erstars logos will *e hard to "iss) In the tourna"ents that +o'erstars
s!onsors you can see their logo e(erywhere, including on the ta*les) Fro" the F++
store you can *uy (arious !o'er accessories and clothes which ha(e the +o'erstars
logo on the" (www)!o'erstars)co" #%)) Loing e(erything they can to let their logo
*een (isi*le all the ti"e, it is clear that +o'erstars are well aware of how i"!ortant
*rand awareness is in this industry)
-. ( "#$T analysis for Pokerstars
3(en though +o'erstars is !resently the *iggest !o'ersite, things can /uic'ly
change) Aew !layers are entering the online !o'er industry and at the sa"e ti"e the
co"!etition is getting harder and harder) .nline !o'er is growing with enor"ous
s!eed so +o'erstars ha(e to *e constantly on the loo'out for new !ossi*ilities as well
as threats they "ight face, in order to hold on to the co(eted title of *eing the *iggest
co"!any in the industry)

-.1 "trengths
+o'erstars strength lies "ostly in their size and how well 'nown they ha(e
*eco"e) Most !eo!le that ha(e tried online !o'er 'now what co"!any +o'erstars is)
&his can *e (ery hel!ful for +o'erstars as !eer@to@!eer co""unication !ro(ides (ery
strong !u*licity in the online !o'er industry) +layers tend to try first the sa"e site as
their friends are !laying on, so ha(ing the *iggest field of !layers on your site gi(es
you the *iggest net of friends) Howe(er, it is i"!ortant that the !layers already on the
site are ha!!y a*out the en(iron"ent and the site as a whole, otherwise they can
ad(ise their friends to try another site)
Being the host of the *est tourna"ent selection in the industry, as well as all
the satellites running for (arious li(e tourna"ents, gi(es +o'erstars a great ad(antage
when it co"es to tourna"ent !layers) +layers who want to ha(e a chance to !lay in a
*ig li(e tourna"ent are (ery li'ely to choose +o'erstars as their "ain site to !lay on)
-hen watching a *ig tourna"ent on &N or internet, it is noticea*le that "ost of the
!layers that ha(e /ualified for the tourna"ent through an online !o'er site ha(e done
it at +o'erstars) &his is an in(alua*le ad(ertise"ent) &he co"!etition for this 'ind of
ad(ertising is howe(er getting harder, as can *e seen in the su*@cha!ter a*out
ad(ertising a*o(e)
+o'erstars s!onsors "any good !rofessional !o'er !layers) &his strengthens
their site in "any ways) Firstly, the !ros will always tal' !ositi(ely a*out the site and
they are the ones that are inter(iewed when the *ig tourna"ents ta'e !lace) Secondly,
"ost of the ti"e they are "ar'ed with the +o'erstars logo so !eo!le are constantly
re"inded a*out where they !lay) Fnowing that "any !ros li'e a !o'ersite enough to
!lay on it and wor' for the" is definitely a *ig !lus when a new !layer starts to loo'
for a site to !lay on) Fulltilt has *een thought of as the leader in the online !o'er
industry when it co"es to s!onsoring !ros) +o'erstars are howe(er getting closer and
closer to Fulltilt and "ight e(en ha(e !assed the") &hese two sites are *y far the "ost
efficient when it co"es to s!onsorshi!s and that is no dou*t !art of the reason they are
the *iggest in the industry today)
-.! #eaknesses
3(en though +o'erstars is the *iggest online !o'er site, it does not "ean that
they do not ha(e any wea'nesses) &hey "ay not ha(e so "any, *ut they ha(e to *e
(ery aware of their wea'nesses, as the *est chance a s"aller co"!etitor has against
the" is to ta'e ad(antage of their wea'nesses)
It "ight *e thought of as a little contradiction, gi(en the fact that +o'erstars
are the *iggest in the industry, *ut a *ig wea'ness for the" is how unattracti(e their
site is for a new !layer that has ne(er tried !laying online *efore, ece!t for "ay*e on
Face*oo' or other sites li'e that that offer !o'er only as a ga"e) Many !layers that
want to !ut so"e "oney onto a !o'ersite will loo' at the !ossi*ilities of first@de!osit
*onuses at different sites) -hen it co"es to such co"!arison, +o'erstars is a *ig
underdog, ha(ing "ost of the ti"e the worst or at least one of the worst offers
(www)card!layer)co" #)) &his does not see"s to affect the" now, *ut is without
dou*t one of the things that is easy to fi and can *e (ery i"!ortant, as new !layers
are still entering the industry and the co"!etition for these !layers is *eco"ing (ery
Another thing that "ight cause new !layers to choose other !o'ersites than
+o'erstars is the fact that they ha(e no refer@a@friend *onus offers) +layers that are
!laying on other sites will "ost li'ely want their friends to !lay on the sa"e site as
they are, es!ecially if getting the" there will !ay off) -hy they ha(e no refer@a@friend
*onus offer is hard to understand, as these *onuses usually do not ha(e *ig a"ounts in
the", and it will get new !layers to !ut real "oney in and !lay a lot to get their
&he sta'es that are !ossi*le to !lay for at +o'erstars "ight *e considered as a
wea'ness, co"!ared to for ea"!le Fulltilt!o'er) &hey do not offer as high sta'es in
cash ga"es as "any other sites) &he highest sta'es they offer is <2$$J<#$$ for li"it
Holde" and in the other ga"es the highest is <4$J<8$ (www)!o'erstars)co" 4$))
Fulltilt has "uch higher sta'es, where the highest li"it is u! to <2$$$J<#$$$ in the
fied li"it Holde" (htt!:JJd')!o'ernews)co")) +o'erstars also offers a few high
sta'es ga"es (www)!o'erstars)co" 27) *ut when the author tried to enter so"e of
these ta*les, they see" to *e restricted for so"e un'nown reason) For all the !layers
who li'e to watch or !lay high sta'es cash ga"es online, Fulltilt!o'er is the *etter
o!tion, as they ha(e "uch "ore acti(e ta*les at the highest sta'es than +o'erstars,
!lus the fact that the !layers at these ta*les are often so"e of the "ost fa"ous !o'er
!layers in the world) +arty!o'er only offers sta'es fro" <$)$#J<$)$7 to <2$$J<#$$
(www)card!layer)co" 4))
-.% $ortunities
-hat is etre"ely i"!ortant in an industry li'e the online !o'er industry is to
ne(er fall *ehind when it co"es to technology) A *ig o!!ortunity for +o'erstars is to
*e constantly loo'ing for new technology that can !ut the" one ste! ahead of their
co"!etitors) 6onstant software de(elo!"ent is therefore a 'ey, *oth for finding new
o!!ortunities and !re(enting falling *ehind in the co"!etition)
&he "ost i"!ortant thing in this industry is that the !layer is ha!!y with the
software and all the !ossi*ilities that is has to offer, as well as the ga"e selection and
"any other things concerning the software) A good way to find new o!!ortunities in
the "ar'et for +o'erstars is to use either the !ro*le" detection "ethod and as' their
custo"ers what they want to see i"!ro(e, or the ideal "ethod where they can as'
what the !erfect software and !o'ersite would loo' li'e) It is relati(ely easy and not
e!ensi(e to ha(e another e"ail address, si"ilar to the custo"er su!!ort e"ail, which
can *e used for !layers with so"e thoughts of the software) &hey could send an e"ail
and tell what they wanted to change a*out +o'erstars, their ho"e!age, software or
anything else they disli'e) &his could *e an easy way for +o'erstars to 'now *etter
what their !layers want without a *ig and e!ensi(e "ar'et research)
&he thing that "any !layers "iss "ost fro" li(e !o'er when !laying online is
the !ossi*ility of !hysical tells) &he *iggest tells you can get fro" other !layers is the
*etting size and how "uch ti"e they use thin'ing) &he tells are a (ery *ig !art in li(e
!o'er, as e(ery "o(e, e(ery word said, how the !layer throws in his chi!s and so
"any other things can tell you if he is *luffing or if he wants to get called) +layers
agree that this is the *iggest fault in online !o'er and "any *elie(e that the net *ig
ste! in online !o'er is to *ring tells in it) Loyle Brunson, as was "entioned *efore,
*elie(es that online !o'er will *e si"ilar to a (ideo conference, where you will *e
a*le to see the other !layers at the ta*le and all, or at least "ost of the tells, will co"e
to the online !o'er as well (Brunson #$$1:91@99)) &he first !o'ersite that will offer
this !ossi*ility will attract "any custo"ers that will *e interested in trying this new
!art of online !o'er) &his is a (ery good o!!ortunity for a *ig co"!any li'e
+o'erstars to !ut a lot of effort in de(elo!"ent of this e!ansion of their software)
Ma'ing the online !o'er as si"ilar to li(e !o'er as !ossi*le is a *ig tas' that e(ery
!o'ersite has to wor' at)
Many ga"ing sites, for ea"!le +artyga"ing, offer the !ossi*ility of using the
sa"e account for their !o'ersite as well as ga"*ling sites li'e casinos, s!orts *ets etc)
According to research "ade *y -ill A) Shead, La(id 6) Hodgins and La(e Scharf at
the Oni(ersity of 6algary in 6anada, "ade in August last year, !o'er !layers ga"*le
"ore fre/uently and s!end "ore ti"e and "oney doing it than non@!o'er !layers)
.nline !o'er !layers were also found to s!end "ore ti"e and "oney in ga"*ling
than social !o'er !layers (Shead et al., #$$9)) &his is of course an o!!ortunity for
+o'erstars, *ut "any things would ha(e to *e ta'en into account *efore this would *e
done) It is also a /uestion a*out the *rand and the affect a change li'e this "ight ha(e
on it, as a !o'er@only site "ight *e thought of as "ore !ure than sites that offer other
'inds of ga"*ling as well) It is also noticea*le that the two of the *iggest online !o'er
sites, +o'erstars and Fulltilt!o'er, offer *oth !o'er only) Focusing only on !o'er
see"s to wor' well for "any of the !o'er sites that do so, so this change should
definitely not *e done without a thorough consideration that would include *ig "ar'et
-.& Threats
Being the *iggest in the industry also has its disad(antages for +o'erstars) All
their co"!etitors loo' at the" and try to co!y and i"!ro(e what they are doing,
loo'ing for crac's they can use to their ad(antage) Any changes in the industry could
also *e considered as an o!!ortunity or a threat, de!ending on what the changes are)
Many !o'ersites sto!!ed allowing real "oney !layers on their site, after
legislation in the OS *anned credit card co"!anies to collect !ay"ents for wagers
(www)!o'erlistings)co")) Still, it is !ossi*le for !layers fro" the OS to !lay online
!o'er, due to "any !ossi*ilities of a "oney transfers online, with the hel! of sites li'e
neteller)co" and "oney*oo'ers)co") +arty!o'er used to *e the *iggest online
!o'ersite *efore *anning OS !layers (www)card!layer)co" 4) so a *ig threat for
+o'erstars is if +arty!o'er and the other !o'ersites decide to allow !layers fro" the
OS again, or the OS changes their legislation) &his is a threat that is i"!ossi*le for
+o'erstars to !re(ent fro" ha!!ening) &he only thing they can do is to ha(e as "any
!o'er !layers fro" the OS at their site that are satisfied with where they are !laying,
when or if this will ha!!en) &hen they "ight not consider changing to other sites,
e(en though the !ossi*ilities would increase)
In the online !o'er industry the *arrier of entry is low) &his "eans that the
threat of new !o'ersites to co"e into the "ar'et is always !resent) Howe(er, for a *ig
site li'e +o'erstars, the new sites are not li'ely to cause the" *ig da"age) Still they
should always *e aware of the" as it does not ta'e a long ti"e for a s"all site to
*eco"e *ig in a tur*ulent industry li'e this one)
For a co"!any that relies so "uch on software and co"!uter techni/ue, the
security of that technology is crucial to the") Niruses, hac'ers and co"!uter failures
are always a *ig threat for co"!anies li'e +o'erstars) &o *e as well !rotected against
this threat as !ossi*le, they ha(e to ha(e (ery good !rogra""ers wor'ing constantly
on their software as well on ha(ing good defense against (iruses and hac'ers)
.. The 0uestionnaire
A /uestionnaire sur(ey was conducted in order to find out what !o'er !layers
who !lay on the internet are loo'ing for when deciding which !o'ersite to choose) Its
!ur!ose was to find out what is "ost i"!ortant to the !layers and what they
considered to *e less i"!ortant) After a thorough analysis of +o'erstars0 "ar'eting
"i this for" of research was done in order to see what !art of their "ar'eting
strategy was successfully getting to the !layers and where i"!ro(e"ents "ight *e
..1 1ethodology
It was decided to do an online /uestionnaire sur(ey with the hel! of a !rogra"
called StudSur(ey that was gotten fro" the I& de!art"ent at ASB) &he lin' to the
sur(ey was !ut on Face*oo', e"ail lists and an Icelandic online !o'er foru") It was
s!read around to as "any !eo!le as !ossi*le) It was stated that !eo!le had to ha(e
tried online !o'er at least once so their answers could *e considered rele(ant for the
sur(ey) Howe(er, it did not "atter if they had tried !o'er on Face*oo' or ga"e sites
only or if they had tried a !o'ersite that offers the !ossi*ility of real "oney !o'er)
All the /uestions in the /uestionnaire sur(ey were chec'@list /uestions where
the !eo!le as'ed could only choose one of !re(iously chosen !ossi*ilities as answers)
&he /uestions in the /uestionnaire sur(ey were two 'inds) Most of the" were
"ulti!le choice /uestions with a single res!onse scale while a few de"ogra!hic
/uestions were a si"!le category scale /uestions) It was decided not to use the (ery
fre/uently used Pi'ert scale) &his was decided due to the fact that it was i"!ortant for
the /uestionnaire sur(ey to find out if the !layers 'new what certain things were)
&a'ing for ea"!le the /uestion =How i"!ortant is ra'e to you when choosing a site
to !lay on>?, it was i"!ortant to 'now how "any were unaware of what ra'e is) If the
Pi'ert scale would ha(e *een used, e(eryone that did not 'now that would "ar' the
neutral, the sa"e !lace as all the ones that do not care a*out ra'e) Listinguishing
*etween these two (ery different grou!s would ha(e *een i"!ossi*le to do and it was
considered i"!ortant for the results to do so)
&he /uestions were chosen with different !arts of the "ar'eting "i in "ind)
&he first /uestions were "ainly a*out the !o'er !layer hi"self in order to find out
what 'ind of a !o'er !layer he was, where he "ostly !layed, what (ariant of !o'er he
!layed, how often he !layed and if he had accounts on "any !o'ersites) &o 'now on
how "any !o'ersites the !o'er !layer has an account is i"!ortant in order to see if
!o'er !layers usually Cust stic' to the site they choose first, or if they are li'ely to try
other sites as well)
Aet were /uestions that focused "ostly on +o'erstars) &he !ur!ose of the
first one was to find out where !layers heard first a*out +o'erstars) It was stated
earlier in the !a!er that !eer@to@!eer "ar'eting was (ery i"!ortant for co"!anies li'e
+o'erstars, and the answers to that /uestion would tell if that was the case) &he
/uestions a*out what !layers li'ed the "ost and disli'ed the "ost a*out +o'erstars
were used to see if +o'erstars has an o*(ious ad(antage or disad(antage against other
&hen ca"e /uestions that were used to find how i"!ortant (arious things were
to the !o'er !layers when they chose a site to !lay on) &hese /uestions were
connected to different !arts of the "ar'eting "i) &he first two were a*out the !rice
of !laying at the site) &he net two were a*out the sales !ro"otion) All !o'ersites
offer different *onuses and !layer !oints syste"s) &o 'now if these !ro"otions are
i"!ortant to !layers is good for !o'ersites, as they can i"!ro(e the" and ad(ertise
the" "ore if the result is that the !ro"otions are i"!ortant for the !layers) &he last
/uestion on this !age was to see if !layers thin' it was i"!ortant that the site they
choose s!onsors !rofessional !o'er !layer)
&he last /uestions *efore the *asic de"ogra!hic /uestions were focused on
s!onsored !rofessional !layers) It was "eant to find out if !layers ha(e a fa(orite
!o'er !ro, and if they did what !o'ersite s!onsor hi" and if the !layers !layed on that
!age) More and "ore !layers are *eing s!onsored *y (arious !ages, so 'nowing if
that gets the attention of other !layers can *e a great hel! in ad(ertising the site)
&here were "any "ore /uestions that could ha(e *een as'ed) It was howe(er
decided not to ha(e the /uestionnaire longer, as it was li'ely that if the /uestionnaire
was too long it would ha(e the effect that !layers would not *other to answer) A full
list of the /uestions and the answer !ossi*ilities can *e seen in A!!endi 2)
..! The results from the 0uestionnaire
&he nu"*er of answers was 2#$) &his was "ore than e!ected and should
gi(e a good !icture of the /uestions as'ed) A histogra" with the results fro" each
/uestion can *e seen in A!!endi #)
&he answers to the first cou!le of /uestions showed that al"ost 8$M of the
!layers that answered said that they !layed "ostly on +o'erstars, where the net one
was Fulltilt with a*out 29 M) &hat shows how !o!ular +o'erstars really is in the
"ar'et) It also shows that "ost of the !layers !lay SitDIo0s (74M) and cash ga"es
(#9M)) As was said in the !a!er, Holde" was *y far the "ost !layed (ariant of !o'er)
&he goal was to chec' "ostly what a"ateurs and se"i@!ros were loo'ing for when it
co"es to online !o'er) So the fact that 95M of the answers ca"e fro" those two
grou!s and al"ost 15M of the answers co"e fro" !layers that !lay fro" a cou!le of
ti"es a wee' to e(ery day shows that this sur(ey was answered *y the target grou!
-hen it ca"e to the /uestion =on how "any different !o'er sites do you ha(e
an account>? the answers were not as e!ected)
As can *e seen fro" the histogra" a*o(e "ore than 9$M of the !layers ha(e accounts
on "ore than one site) &his indicates that !layers are not (ery co""itted to the site
they choose first, and are (ery li'ely to try another site after ha(ing !layed on the first
one) More /uestions that could *e connected to this one are for ea"!le why the
!layers "o(e *etween sites, if it is *ecause of they do not li'e the first site or if it is
"ainly due to curiosity)
-hen the !layers were as'ed where they heard first a*out +o'erstars, "ore
than half of the" said fro" a friend, which su!!orts the idea a*out how i"!ortant
!eer@to@!eer co""unication is in this industry)
-hen it ca"e to finding what !layers li'ed the *est a*out +o'erstars and what
the *iggest flaw was, the answers were (ery scattered)
&he good news for +o'erstars it that 49M thin' it is the o(erall *est site and al"ost
half of the !layers see nothing wrong with +o'erstars) -hen it co"es to the software,
a (ery i"!ortant factor in this industry, the o!inion of it see"s to (ary, as so"e say it
is the *est thing a*out +o'erstars and other see" to thin' it is the *iggest flaw) &hat
indicates that !layers (ary a lot when it co"es to what 'ind of software they !refer, so
ha(ing software that e(eryone li'es can *e (ery hard) A good thing for +o'erstars is
also the fact that no one see"s to thin' that the custo"er su!!ort is a *ig flaw, so it is
!ro*a*ly enough for the" to ha(e the e"ail only su!!ort)
-hen the /uestions were directed to the !rice of !laying at !o'er sites, the
answers were scattered as e!ected) Howe(er, it was a little sur!rising how "any
were aware of the ra'e and thought that it was i"!ortant) Al"ost half of the !layers
thought it was i"!ortant or (ery i"!ortant when choosing a site to !lay on, and only
2$M did not 'now what ra'e was) &hat has to *e thought of as !retty good as 85M of
the answers ca"e fro" a"ateurs) As e!ected, when it ca"e to ra'e*ac', "ore
!layers did not 'now what that was or thought that it was not an i"!ortant factor
when they choose a site to !lay at)
-hen it co"es to the sales !ro"otion, the *onuses and !layer !oints, !layers
see" to thin' "uch "ore a*out the *onus offers than a*out the !layer !oints syste")
&hat was e!ected as a lot of the ad(ertise"ent done *y !o'er sites is to !oint out the
first de!osit *onuses and other *onuses they offer, while (ery seldo" you can see
ad(ertise"ents a*out the !layer !oints syste")
+rofessional !o'er !layers do not see" to ha(e a *ig effect on where !layers
choose to !lay according to the results of the /uestionnaire sur(ey and only two thirds
of the !layers said that they had a fa(orite !ro) .f those who answered yes, #$M had a
fa(orite !ro s!onsored *y +o'erstars and 45M fro" Fulltilt!o'er) So e(en though
!o'er !ros are a good tool to ad(ertise a !o'er site, they do not see" to *e the "ain
influence where !layers decide to !lay)
&he !layers that answered that /uestionnaire were al"ost all "en, and
e(eryone ca"e fro" Scandina(ia and Iceland) It was decided to ha(e Iceland with the
Scandina(ian !layers as they are (ery si"ilar "ar'ets) &he !layers were fro" 29 to 7$
years old, two thirds *etween 29 and #5, which was as e!ected) It was howe(er a
little sur!rising that not "ore !layers were wo"en, as only 4 wo"en answered the
/uestionnaire) &hey ha(e *eco"e "ore (isi*le in the !o'er world, and so"e of the
"ost fa"ous !o'er !ros are wo"en)

&he a"ount of students that answered the /uestionnaire sur(ey was in connection to
the age of the res!ondents) &hey as well as the une"!loyed "ight *e "ore focused on
the !rice of !laying at the sites and the (arious sales !ro"otions than !layers with
regular inco"e)
/. Conclusion
+o'er has a long history, *ut it was not until recently that it *eca"e as !o!ular
as has *eco"e e(ident) &he internet has "ade it !ossi*le for nor"al !eo!le that "ight
not ha(e the !ossi*ility to !lay in casinos or other li(e ga"es, to get to 'now !o'er)
&he fa"ous Money"a'er effect has also increased the !o!ularity of !o'er
enor"ously) 3(ery*ody want to get as "any !layers to !lay on their site as !ossi*le,
as !o'er sites cannot li(e without ha(ing the !layers acti(e on their site)
-hen it co"es to getting !layers to !lay on their site, there is no !o'er site
that is *igger than +o'erstars) +o'erstars has *eco"e etre"ely !o!ular and well
'nown, in the online !o'er industry as well as in the !o'er co""unity as a whole)
Al"ost all !eo!le that 'now anything a*out !o'er 'now +o'erstars) &he fact that
6hris Money"a'er won his seat in the #$$4 -S.+ "ain e(ent through a satellite at
+o'erstars, ga(e the" a great 'ic' in !o!ularity) &hey ha(e howe(er done a (ery good
Co* in "ar'eting the site and are loo'ed u! to *y all of their co"!etitors)
&he "ain !ur!ose of this !a!er was to analyze the "ar'eting "i at
+o'erstars, as their "ar'eting strategy "ust *e the *est one in the industry) &he
/uestionnaire was then done in order to find out what !layers are loo'ing for when
choosing a site to !lay at) &hat should then hel! +o'erstars to i"!ro(e their "ar'eting
strategy where that is needed)
After the analysis of the 1 +s was finished, it *eca"e clear that the *ig success
+o'erstars has had is no luc') &heir software, one of the "ost i"!ortant things in
online !o'er, is thought *y "any to *e the *est one around) It is si"!le *ut has as well
all the functions a !layer needs) &hey ha(e (ery high security le(el so the !layers can
!ut "oney into their account without ha(e to worry a*out their infor"ation lea' out to
the wrong !laces) &he ra'e and ra'e*ac' !ossi*ilities see" to *e so"ething that "ost
a"ateur !layers are not too worried a*out) &he ra'e structure is (ery si"ilar
throughout the industry and no !o'er site see"s to *e trying to change that) -hen it
co"es to ra'e*ac' !ossi*ilities, it is "ore often the s"aller and less 'nown sites that
offer good deals) &hat surely "a'es sense, as that "ight get "ore !layers to !lay at
their site) For the *iggest sites to ha(e huge ra'e*ac' !ossi*ilities can cost the"
un*elie(a*le a"ount of "oney)
All the !layers and !ros "ar'ed +o'erstars !laying at li(e tourna"ents are
great !ro"otional tool for +o'erstars, and no other site has done *etter in !ro"oting
the"sel(es that way) Being also the "ain s!onsor for so"e of the "ost fa"ous li(e
tourna"ents in the world 'ee!s the +o'erstars na"e and logo constantly re"inded to
fans of !o'er)
&he !rocess of !laying !o'er at +o'erstars is (ery si"!le) If !layer gets into
any 'ind of !ro*le" while !laying he can always get hel! fro" custo"er su!!ort)
3(en though so"e /uestions were !ut to ha(ing only an e"ail custo"er su!!ort, this
does not see" to "atter for the !layers that answered the /uestionnaire)
+o'erstars does not ha(e to *e worried a*out the nearest future) &hey are the
"ost !o!ular !o'er site in the world and nothing see"s to *e getting in their way)
&heir li(e tourna"ents are getting !o!ular e(ery year and !layers see" to *e (ery
satisfied with the co"!any as a whole) &heir "ar'eting "i is wor'ing (ery well) .n
the few !laces where they do not loo' as good as their co"!etitor, for ea"!le in the
sales !ro"otion, it does not see" to "atter) &hey eisting custo"ers are (ery ha!!y
with +o'erstars and new !layers are still choosing +o'erstars as their first site) If they
will e!erience fewer new !layers to co"e to their site, they can always start a refer@
a@friend *onus which would with no dou*t get the" "any new !layers)
2. 3ibliograhy
Borden Aeil H) (2%97), The Concept of the Marketing Mix, Bournal of Ad(ertising
:esearch, 6lassics, (olu"e II, Se!te"*er 2%97, !age 1@2#)
Brunson Loyle (#$$1), Online Poker: our !uide to Pla"ing Online Poker #afel" $
%inning Mone", Aew Sor', 6ardoza +u*lishing)
Fotler +hili! and Feller Fe(in Pane (#$$8), Marketing Management &'e, Aew
Bersey, +earson +rentice Hall)
McManus Ba"es (#$$1), ( )istor" of Poker, 6ard!layer)co", Fe*ruary #1, #$$1)
A(aila*le fro": htt!:JJwww)card!layer)co"JhistoryTofT!o'erJarticleJ1@!o/ue@
or@!o/as@to@!o'uh GAccessed 2% Fe*ruary #$$%H)
Mudie +eter and +irrie Angela (#$$8), #ervice Marketing Management, third edition,
Ireat Britain, 3lse(ier)
Shead -ill A), Hodgins La(id 6) and Scharf La(e (#$$9), *ifferences +etween Poker
Pla"er and ,on-Poker-Pla"ing !am+lers, International Ia"*ling Studies,
Nolu"e 9, Issue #, August #$$9, !ages 281@219)
Snyder Arnold (#$$8), )ow to .eat /nternet Casinos $ Poker 0ooms, Aew Sor',
6ardoza +u*lishing)
Sol"an Iregory (#$$4), Trailers, 1.ots2 and 3-Mails Tout !or" Movies to Teens,
Adwee')co", .cto*er 8, #$$4) A(aila*le fro"
(nuTcontentTidU2%%7#%1 GAccessed 2$ A!ril #$$%H)
-aterschoot -alter (an (2%%5), V&he Mar'eting Mi0, in Ba'er Michael B,
Companion 3nc"clopedia of Marketing, Ireat Britain, &B +ress (+adstow),
-aterschoot -alter (an (#$$$), V&he Mar'eting Mi as a 6reator of Lifferentiation0,
in Blois Feith, The Oxford Text+ook of Marketing, Aew Sor', .ford
Oni(ersity +ress, 294@#22)
-aterschoot -alter (an and Bulte 6hristo!he (an den (2%%#), The 4P Classification
of the Marketing Mix 0evisited, &he Bournal of Mar'eting, (olu"e 58, Ao) 7,
(.cto*er 2%%#), !ages 94@%4)
-ein*erg Marc (#$$8), 35P30T 6/3% 7 /s Poker !am+ling, .nline +o'er Insider,
May #9, #$$8) A(aila*le fro": htt!:JJwww)online@!o'er@
GAccessed 4 A!ril #$$%H)
Internet sources4
htt!:JJd')!o'ernews)co"Jfull@tilt@!o'erJ GAccessed 27 A!ril #$$%H
#53#8#839B#44A2229384A975 GAccessed #2 A!ril #$$%H
www)*an'roll*oost)co"Jwhat@is@ra'e*ac')!h! GAccessed #$ A!ril #$$%H
www)*usiness*ureau@u')co)u'Jsales@"ar'etingJ"ar'etingT"iT!lace)ht" GAccessed
7 A!ril #$$%H
2: www)card!layer)co"Jonline@!o'erJroo"sJ#@!o'erstarsJre(iew GAccessed
8 A!ril #$$%H
#: htt!:JJwww)card!layer)co"Jonline@!o'erJroo"s GAccessed 27 A!ril #$$%H
4: htt!:JJwww)card!layer)co"Jonline@!o'erJroo"sJ22@!arty!o'erJre(iew
GAccessed 27 A!ril #$$%H
www)euro!ean!o'ertour)co"Ja*out)ht"l GAccessed 9 A!ril #$$%H
2: htt!:JJwww)e(ery!o'er)co"J!o'er@ter"sJrail GAccessed 5 A!ril #$$%H
#: htt!:JJwww)e(ery!o'er)co"J!o'er@ter"sJrail*ird GAccessed 5 A!ril #$$%H
2: htt!:JJwww)fulltilt!o'er)co"J*ust@out@*ounties)!h! GAccessed 8 A!ril
#: htt!:JJwww)fulltilt!o'er)co"Jseries@"ain@e(ent@"ania GAccessed 27 A!ril
4: htt!:JJwww)fulltilt!o'er)co"Jwe*"aster@tools GAccessed 1 A!ril #$$%H
7: htt!:JJwww)fulltilt!o'er)co"Jde!osit@Bonus GAccessed #5 March #$$%H
5: htt!:JJwww)fulltilt!o'er)co"J:efer@A@Friend GAccessed #2 A!ril #$$%H
8: htt!:JJwww)fulltilt!o'er)co"Jha!!y@hour GAccessed 8 A!ril #$$%H
1: htt!:JJwww)fulltilt!o'er)co"Jfull&ilt+oints)!h! GAccessed #8 March #$$%H
www)ga"*ling)co"JarticlesJ225%Jad(antage@*ec'er)as! GAccessed 5 March #$$%H
www)ga"*lingorigins)co"J GAccessed 25 A!ril #$$%H
www)learn"ar'eting)netJe"ar'eting)ht" GAccessed 5 A!ril #$$%H
2: www)"ar'etingteacher)co"JPessonsJlessonT!ro"otion)ht" GAccessed 22
A!ril #$$%H
#: htt!:JJwww)"ar'etingteacher)co"JPessonsJlessonT!hysicalTe(idence)ht"
GAccessed 2$ A!ril #$$%H
www)online!o'erfa/)co"JguideJra'e)ht"l GAccessed #$ A!ril #$$%H
2: htt!:JJwww)!agat)co"J(yingJ!o'erhistory)ht"lWintroduction GAccessed 2%
Fe*ruary #$$%H
#: htt!:JJwww)!agat)co"J(yingJ!o'erhistory)ht"lW*irth@growth GAccessed
2% Fe*ruary #$$%H
www)!arty!artners)co"JwhyTCoinJwhyCoin)do GAccessed 1 A!ril #$$%H
www)!arty!o'er)co"JrewardsJ GAccessed 8 A!ril #$$%H
www)!lay"oney!o'ersite)co"J!o'erstars@re(iewJ GAccessed 1 A!ril #$$%H
record@e(ent@4142995 GAccessed 4$ March #$$%H
www)!o'er@fulltilt)co"Jfull@tiltJhistoryJ GAccessed 25 A!ril #$$%H
www)!o'erlisten)d'J GAccessed 4$ March #$$%H
www)!o'erlistings)co"J!arty@!o'er GAccessed ## A!ril #$$%H
2: htt!:JJwww)!o'er!ages)co"J!layersJ!rofilesJ5#$5%Jdoyle@*runson)ht"
GAccessed 4$ March #$$%H
#: htt!:JJwww)!o'er!ages)co"Ja*out@teasholde")ht" GAccessed 4$ March
4: htt!:JJwww)!o'er!ages)co"Jtourna"entJresult2297$)ht" GAccessed 1 A!ril
7: htt!:JJwww)!o'er!ages)co"J!o'erinfoJtourna"entgalleryJw!tJseason7@
schedule)ht" GAccessed 1 A!ril #$$%H
www)!o'ers!il)co"J!artyT!o'er GAccessed #5 March #$$%H
2: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"Jtea"@!o'erstarsJchris@"oney"a'erJ
GAccessed 25 A!ril #$$%H
#: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"Ja*outJ GAccessed #8 March #$$%H
4: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J!o'erJga"esJrulesJhand@ran'ingsJ GAccessed
4$ March #$$%H
7: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J!o'erJga"esJdrawJ GAccessed 25 A!ril #$$%H
5: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J!o'erJga"esJstudJ GAccessed 25 A!ril #$$%H
8: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J!o'erJga"esJ GAccessed 25 A!ril #$$%H
1: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J!o'erJga"esJteas@holde"J GAccessed #%
A!ril #$$%H
9: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J!ressJ#$$%@$2@$5)ht"l GAccessed 42 March
%: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"Jio"J GAccessed 2 A!ril #$$%H
2$: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J!o'erJtourna"entsJ GAccessed #$ A!ril
22: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J!o'erJtourna"entsJscheduleJ GAccessed #$
A!ril #$$%H
2#: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"Jwcoo!J GAccessed 4 A!ril #$$%H
24: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"Jscoo!J GAccessed 4 A!ril #$$%H
27: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J!o'erJroo"J GAccessed #$ A!ril #$$%H
25: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J!o'erJroo"Jra'eJ GAccessed #$ A!ril #$$%H
28: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J!o'erJtourna"entsJleader@*oardJ GAccessed 8
A!ril #$$%H
21: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J!o'erJ!ro"otionsJ!o'er@ca"!@"ontecarloJ
GAccessed 8 A!ril #$$%H
29: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J!o'erJnewsJt(J GAccessed 1 A!ril #$$%H
2%: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"Jwso!J GAccessed 1 A!ril #$$%H
#$: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J!o'erJaffiliateJ GAccessed 1 A!ril #$$%H
#2: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J!o'erJ!ro"otionsJafricaJ GAccessed #2 A!ril
##: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J!o'erJ!ro"otionsJ*onusJ GAccessed #7
March #$$%H
#4: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J!o'erJ!ro"otionsJ*onusJwso!@#$J GAccessed
## A!ril #$$%H
#7: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J(i!J!layJ GAccessed #5 March #$$%H
#5: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"Jf!!J GAccessed #8 March #$$%H
#8: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J!o'erJdownloadJ GAccessed 2$ A!ril #$$%H
#1: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J!o'erJreal@"oneyJ GAccessed #2 A!ril #$$%H
#9: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"Je!tJter"sJ GAccessed #2 A!ril #$$%H
#%: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J(i!JstoreJ>catU!o'er@accessories GAccessed
#2 A!ril #$$%H
4$: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)co"J!o'erJroo"Jli"itsJ GAccessed 27 A!ril #$$%H
2: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)netJa*outJglanceJ GAccessed 29 Fe*ruary #$$%H
#: htt!:JJwww)!o'erstars)netJ!o'erJga"esJ GAccessed 29 Fe*ruary #$$%H
eastgate@de"id@$49245)ht"l GAccessed 4 A!ril #$$%H
www)!o'erti!s)orgJhistoryJonline@!o'er)!h! GAccessed 4$ March #$$%H
www)referralcodefulltilt)co"Ja(atars)!h! GAccessed 5 A!ril #$$%H
with@!o'erstars@247J GAccessed 1 A!ril #$$%H
www)tight!o'er)co"Jre(iewJ!o'erstars)ht"l GAccessed 8 A!ril #$$%H
2: htt!:JJwww)to!ra'e*ac')d'J!o'erTstars GAccessed #5 March #$$%H
#: htt!:JJwww)to!ra'e*ac')d'J!artyT!o'er GAccessed #5 March #$$%H
GAccessed 7 A!ril #$$%H
www)winall!o'er)co"J#$$%J$4J22Jall@star@wee'@!o'erstarsJ GAccessed 8 A!ril #$$%H
5. (endix 1
Kuestions and answers)
+age 2:
&his /uestionnaire is a !art of a *achelor thesis written at Aarhus School of Business)
Its "ain !ur!ose is to find out where !o'er !layers !lay online and what they are
loo'ing for when choosing a site to !lay on)
+age #:
&he first cou!le of /uestions will loo' at you as an online !o'er !layer
-hat !o'er site do you "ostly !lay on>
I only !lay on Face*oo' or other si"ilar sites that offer !o'er only as a ga"e
-hat do you "ostly !lay online>
6ash ga"es
All the first three
+lay "oney
I don0t !lay online
-hat ty!e of !o'er do you !lay "ostly>
Both of those first two
5 card draw
Se(en card stud
-hat category do you fall under as a !o'er !layer>
I a" new to the ga"e
+rofessional (all "y inco"e co"es fro" !o'er)
I !lay it li'e any other co"!uter ga"e, only with !lay "oney and for fun
How often do you !lay !o'er online>
&wo or three ti"es a "onth
.nce a wee'
6ou!le of ti"es e(ery wee'
3(ery day
.n how "any different !o'er sites do you ha(e an account>
5 Q
I don0t ha(e an account at any !o'er site
+age 4:
&he following /uestions are a*out your o!inion of +o'erstars
How did you hear a*out +o'erstars>
Fro" a friend
Fro" an ad on &N
Fro" a *anner at a site
Fro" a logo at a li(e tourna"ent or on a !layer !laying on &N
Fro" a !ro fro" +o'erstars
Ad in a !a!erJ"agazine
I ha(e ne(er heard a*out +o'erstars
-hat do you li'e *est a*out +o'erstars>
&he satellites
&he !ros !laying there
&he software
&he le(el of !layers (their ni(eau)
I thin' it is the o(erall *est site
I don0t li'e +o'erstars at all
I ha(e ne(er !layed at +o'erstars
-hat do you thin' is the *iggest flaw at +o'erstars>
&he size (to *ig)
&he software
&he le(el of !layers
&he custo"er su!!ort
&he sta'es !ossi*ility
I see nothing wrong with +o'erstars
I ha(e ne(er !layed at +o'erstars
+age 7:
Here are few /uestions a*out how i"!ortant (arious things are to you when
you choose what site to !lay on
How i"!ortant is ra'e to you when choosing site to !lay on>
Aot i"!ortant
A little i"!ortant
Nery i"!ortant
I don0t 'now what ra'e is
I only !lay with !lay "oney so ra'e doesn0t affect "e
How i"!ortant is ra'e*ac' to you when choosing site to !lay on>
Aot i"!ortant
A little i"!ortant
Nery i"!ortant
I don0t 'now what ra'e*ac' is
I only !lay with !lay "oney so I ha(e no ra'e*ac' o!tions
How i"!ortant are *onuses to you when choosing site to !lay on (including the first
de!osit *onus)>
Aot i"!ortant
A little i"!ortant
Nery i"!ortant
I ne(er thin' a*out the *onus offers
I ha(e ne(er !ut "oney onto a site
How i"!ortant are !layer !oints syste"s to you when choosing site to !lay on>
Aot i"!ortant
A little i"!ortant
Nery i"!ortant
I ne(er thin' a*out the !oint syste"
I only !lay with !lay "oney which will not gi(e "e any !layer !oints
How *ig a factor are !rofessional !o'er !layers on your choice of !o'ersite to !lay
Lon0t care a*out the"
A little factor
A *ig factor
I only want to !lay on the sa"e site as "y fa(orite !o'er !ro
+age 5:
Here are few /uestions regarding !rofessional !o'er !layers
Lo you ha(e a fa(orite !rofessional !o'er !layer>
-hat !o'er site s!onsors your fa(orite !o'er !ro>
Lon0t 'now
I don0t ha(e a fa(orite !o'er !ro
Lo you !lay on the site that s!onsors your fa(orite !ro>
Lon0t 'now
I don0t ha(e a fa(orite !ro
+age 8:
Finally there will *e so"e de"ogra!hic /uestions
8$ Q
-here do you li(e>
Scandina(ia (Iceland included)
:est of 3uro!e
&he OS
-hat do you do for a li(ing>
+rofessional !o'er !layer
10. (endix !
:esults fro" the /uestionnaire)
&he first cou!le of /uestions will loo' at you as an online !o'er !layer
-hat do you "ostly !lay online>
How often do you !lay !o'er online>
&he following /uestions are a*out your o!inion of +o'erstars
How did you hear a*out +o'erstars>
Here are few /uestions a*out how i"!ortant (arious things are to you when
you choose what site to !lay on
How *ig a factor are !rofessional !o'er !layers on your choice of !o'ersite to !lay
Here are few /uestions regarding !rofessional !o'er !layers
Finally there will *e so"e de"ogra!hic /uestions